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Son of South Korean President Sentenced for Corruption


A son of the South Korean president has been sentenced to prison for corruption while another son awaits sentencing on similar charges. As Hyun-Sung Khang reports from Seoul, a series of corruption scandals involving people close to Kim Dae-Jung has tarnished the last year of his presidency.

President Kim Dae-Jung's son Kim Hong-Up has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay a large fine. Kim Hong-Up was convicted in July of receiving millions of dollars in bribes and improper political donations, including some from South Korea's largest conglomerates, Hyundai and Samsung.

The prosecution had sought a six-year jail term.

The 53-year-old Kim Hong-Up admitted to accepting the money, but denied agreeing to peddle influence or do favors in return.

The president's youngest son, Kim Hong-Gul, was found guilty earlier this year of receiving bribes of almost $3 million. Kim Hong-Gul will be sentenced November 11.

In his final year as president, Kim Dae-Jung has been mired in his sons' corruption scandals, as well as scandals involving close associates. After his election five years ago, he promised an anti-corruption drive. Since then, he has found himself repeatedly apologizing for corruption, although he has not been directly implicated in any wrongdoing.

The Nobel Peace prize winner, who is also credited with saving South Korea from the worst of the Asian economic crisis, has felt the damaging effects. He resigned from the New Millennium Party, which he founded, partly to avoid damaging the chances of the party's nominee in the December presidential election. The country's constitution bars Mr. Kim from seeking another term.

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