Minister Han Dong-hoon allegedly “refused to disclose information” regarding whether or not he possesses cryptocurrency, however, this has been refuted by South Korea‘s Justice Ministry.
The ministry reportedly said that “the cryptocurrency holding status of public officials who work with crypto assets” is “checked regularly.” All “public officials belonging to the Ministry of Justice” were required to undergo biannual inspections, according to the ministry.
South Korean Justice Ministry
In 2021, it started conducting these checks on officials, it added. It further said that the most recent inspection was made in January of this year. According to the ministry’s recent investigation, “public employees [who work with crypto regulation] did not hold any virtual assets.”
In South Korea this month, the issue of MPs possessing cryptocurrency has gained political traction. Allegations that Kim Nam-kuk, a politician who participated on a committee responsible for formulating policy, sold digital assets in preparation for the National Assembly’s passage of the Travel Rule, have sparked outrage.
- Minister Han Dong-hoon denied cryptocurrency possession, refuted by Justice Ministry.
- Ministry conducted checks on officials in 2021 and found no virtual assets.
- Ministry of Justice notified NGO of the non-disclosure policy.
Some claim that this might amount to insider trading. Nevertheless, political mudslinging has complicated the situation. The Democratic Party, which has the most seats in the National Assembly, recently saw Kim leave the organization.
Some believe that the ruling People’s Power Party (PPP) has tried to take advantage of this. The PPP has asserted that the Democratic Party suffers from widespread corruption-related problems.
The latter has retaliated. This Thursday, a member of parliament from the Democratic Party named Park Chan-dae said that Minister Han had “refused to disclose whether he owned cryptocurrency,” stating that this information was “private and personal information.”
Han’s ownership of crypto-assets, according to Park, should be determined in the open. The “refusing” to remark on the situation, continued Park, was unacceptable. Left-leaning NGO People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy claimed to have been in touch with the ministry on May 8.
The NGO claimed to have written to the ministry asking for clarification on the issue of cryptocurrency ownership. But according to the organization, the “Ministry of Justice” responded by “notifying” the NGO that it had a “non-disclosure” policy.