Ex-Hanjin Shipping Chairwoman Berated By Lawmakers to Give Up More Personal Funds to Help Cover Bankruptcy

Here is an update on the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy, the Korean government is trying to get Hanjin’s former chairwoman to cough up more personal funds to help cover some of the bankruptcy costs:

Choi Eun-young, former chairwoman of Hanjin Shipping, kneels and cries during a parliamentary hearing Tuesday. [NEWSIS]

Choi Eun-young, former chairwoman of Hanjin Shipping, kneels and cries during a parliamentary hearing Tuesday. [NEWSIS]

Choi Eun-young, former chairwoman of Hanjin Shipping, refused at a parliamentary hearing late Tuesday to cough up additional funds from her personal assets to help save the world’s seventh-largest container carrier.

On Sept. 12, Choi vowed to provide 10 billion won ($9.1 million) in private funds to cash-strapped Hanjin help tide the company over during the ongoing crisis. She knelt in front of lawmakers at the hearing at the Sejong Government Complex Tuesday, when Park Wan-joo, a lawmaker with the opposition Minjoo Party, berated her.

“You dragged up Hanjin Shipping’s debt ratio from 155 percent to 1,445 percent during your term and now you are saying you cannot donate your own assets because [Hanjin Group] Chairman Cho Yang-ho has been in charge since 2014?” Park asked. “Do you think you have served your responsibility? You are supposed to be sincere when making apologies.”

“I am sorry if I appear I am not properly apologizing. I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” she said, falling to her knees and sobbing with her head down for half a minute. “But [coughing up more of my fortune] would be difficult because it may wreak havoc with the management of Eusu Holdings.”

She currently is chairwoman of Eusu Holdings, which was split when she gave up oversight of Hanjin Shipping in May 2014.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but according to the article she is worth anywhere from $40-$180 million dollars.

Further reading:

Should Korean Government Bailout Hanjin Shipping?

North Korean Soldier Defects Across the DMZ

This defection is actually pretty unusual since it is only the third defection of a North Korean soldiers in the past four years:

nk defector image

A North Korean soldier defected Thursday across the Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula, the South Korean military said.

The soldier crossed the military demarcation line at about 10 a.m. inside the 2.5-mile-wide DMZ, a military official confirmed, speaking on condition of anonymity according to department policy.

The military is investigating how and why the soldier defected, the official said, adding he could not provide more details.

South Korea has reported an increasing number of defectors from the North this year as the isolated country’s ruler Kim Jong Un seeks to tighten his grip on power.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

USFK Pays Off Nearly $2 Million Dollar Power Bill

I wonder what the backstory on this was?  Was this simply just someone forgetting to pay the bills?:

usfk logo

U.S. Forces Korea paid South Korea’s main electricity company nearly $2 million this week after a report that it was overdue on its bills for the year.

USFK had failed to pay 1.9 billion won worth of electricity bills from January to July, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported over the weekend. It cited data submitted by the Korea Electric Power Corp., known as KEPCO, to the National Assembly’s Trade, Industry and Energy Committee.

A KEPCO official told Stars and Stripes the utility received 1.6 billion won from USFK on Monday and 2.8 million won on Thursday. That amounts to about $1.7 million.

The military still owes some money, the official said without providing a specific amount. The KEPCO official spoke on condition of anonymity.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link.

U.K. Deports Two North Korean Insurance Firm Officials

What I am wondering is why were these people allowed to operate in the U.K. in the first place considering North Korea’s long history of using insurance fraud to bring in foreign currency:

north korea nuke

Britain has effectively deported two London-based officials of North Korea’s state insurance firm by refusing to renew their visas after the firm was slapped with sanctions in the wake of Pyongyang’s January nuclear test, a diplomatic source said.

In April, Britain blacklisted the North’s Korea National Insurance Corp. and its London office in line with European Union sanctions imposed after the North’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

“It’s part of implementation of sanctions to deny visas for those working for a sanctioned entity,” a source said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Further reading:

North Korea Reportedly Has $4 Billion In European Banks

Why China Will Not Fix North Korea Despite Trump’s Push

If Donald Trump does become President I think he will find out the same frustrations many other people have had in regards to trying to get China to fix North Korea:

Donald Trump said during the first presidential debate that “China should go into North Korea” to halt that country’s nuclear program and control its unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Un.

“China should solve the problem for us,” Trump said in Monday night’s debate. “China is totally powerful when it comes to North Korea.”

While China does hold a lot of sway over its belligerent communist neighbor and ally, what the Republican candidate said is very unlikely to happen. Here’s why:

• China is North Korea’s protector, chief trading partner and economic lifeline.Although China condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test on Sept. 9 — and agreed to sanctions in response to a test in January — Beijing shows no signs that it will actually crack down on North Korea.  [USA Today]

You can read the rest at the link, but from the Chinese perspective it makes perfect sense to back North Korea.  There would have to be major strategic shifts in the region for China to remove the Kim regime.

Air Force Colonel Accused of Rape Found Dead In Home

Here is an update in regards to one of the recent stories of senior military officers getting themselves in serious trouble.  This was the case that was going to be interesting going to trial because his lawyer was using the defense that the adultery regulation in the UCMJ is unfair because it only applies to heterosexual couples.  It would have been interesting to see how that defense would have played out which now we will never know:

The Air Force says a high-ranking officer who was charged with rape has been found dead in his off-base Colorado home.

Colorado Springs police Sgt. Tim Stanke says officers responded to a report of a suicide when they found the body of Col. Eugene Caughey on Sunday. Stanke says police are awaiting autopsy results.

The 46-year-old Caughey had been vice commander of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base outside Colorado Springs. The unit operates key military satellite systems.

Caughey was charged with adultery, indecent filming or photography, dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Caughey is accused of raping a woman at Schriever Air Force Base, also in Colorado, in late 2014 or early 2015 while “holding her against the wall and floor using physical strength or violence,” court documents stated.

Prosecutors also accused him of photographing his exposed genitals while in uniform and groping women twice.

His court-martial was scheduled for Oct. 17.  [CBS News]

You can read more at the link.