Park Jun-young, a nominee for Oceans minister, is thoroughly scrutinized for his wife’s alleged smuggling of porcelain ware during a parliamentary confirmation hearing, Tuesday.
Rep. Kim Sun-gyo of the main opposition People Power Party jabbed at the nominee during the session over a suspicion for possible tariff evasion.
Kim raised the issue last week, stating that Park’s wife bought porcelain teaware, plates, and ornaments in Britain while the nominee was serving as a minister counselor at the South Korean Embassy in London from 2015-2018.
Kim argues that the purchase was “worth tens of thousands of dollars at least,” and brought back to South Korea without a customs declaration and was sold to customers at a cafe Gyeonggi Province.
As the controversy was furthered discuss, Park apologized and promised to comply with any decision made by customs authorities.
“I once again give my apology. I am sorry that a shameful thing like this took place,” Park said during the hearing.
“Currently, (I am) in discussion with the Korea Customs Service on how to settle a problem like this … I will accept any decision (the customs authorities) make and live up to it unconditionally,” the nominee said.
However, Park denied any intention of evading customs, stating that his wife purchasing the porcelain ware was out of her hobby.
Kim, on the other hand, contradicted the claim, provided that the images of the goods posted on the Instagram of Park’s wife looked like “a haul of treasures from a wrecked ship,” rather than housewares.
Park was the former deputy minister at the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries. He was tapped as the new oceans minister in a reshuffle last month.