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Entries in South Korea (3)

Tuesday
Nov272012

South Korea Strips Petraeus Recommendee Kelley of Honorary Position

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who sparked an investigation that brought down CIA head David Petraeus, will be relieved of her ceremonial position as honorary consul for South Korea because she allegedly tried to “peddle influence” and profit off business deals there, a top South Korean official said Tuesday.

According to South Korea’s semi-official Yonhap News Agency, South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun said, “It is not suitable to the status of honorary consul that [she] sought to be involved in commercial projects and peddle influence.”

Kyou-hyun’s comments come in the wake of allegations from New York businessman Adam Victor that Kelley had claimed she had access to top Korean officials and could help him land a multi-billion dollar gasification deal, as detailed in emails from Kelley obtained exclusively by ABC News. Victor said that when Kelley asked for an exorbitant $80 million broker’s fee, the request prompted him to “terminate [their] relationship.”

The Yonhap report also says that South Korean officials had appointed Kelley to the honorary consul position in August “at the recommendation of Petraeus” -- an apparent corroboration of a claim Victor says Kelley made to him when they discussed the gasification deal.

“Ms. Kelley made it clear to me that Gen. Petraeus put her in this position, and that’s why she was able to have access to such senior levels [of the Korean government],” Victor told ABC News earlier this month. Victor claimed Kelley said “that they were essentially doing a favor for Gen. Petraeus, and that she had access solely because of her relationship with Gen. Petraeus.”

In a previous ABC News report, Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for Petraeus, said it was “nonsense” that Petraeus had any part in the gasification deal. “He knows nothing about it,” Boylan said. “What other people do, he can’t control.” Another source told ABC News that Petraeus had asked Kelley to stop throwing his name around.

A close friend of Kelley’s, Tampa real estate developer Don Phillips, said he didn’t believe Kelley tried to profit from her connection with Petraeus, saying, “There’s no dark plot here. There’s no conspiracy. There is no grand crime.”

Kelley was thrust into the international spotlight earlier this month when she was identified as the woman who sparked an FBI investigation that eventually led to Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA. Months ago Kelley told an FBI friend that she had been receiving harassing emails from an anonymous sender. Agents with the FBI tracked the messages to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer, and in the course of investigating Broadwell, discovered that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair.

The FBI notified the White House of the affair a day after President Obama was reelected and Obama accepted Petraeus’ resignation two days later.

Copywright 2012 ABC News Radio

Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who sparked an investigation that brought down CIA head David Petraeus, will be relieved of her ceremonial position as honorary consul for South Korea because she allegedly tried to “peddle influence” and profit off business deals there, a top South Korean official said today.

According to South Korea’s semi-official Yonhap News Agency, South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun said, “It is not suitable to the status of honorary consul that [she] sought to be involved in commercial projects and peddle influence.”

Kyou-hyun’s comments come in the wake of allegations from New York businessman Adam Victor that Kelley had claimed she had access to top Korean officials and could help him land a multi-billion dollar gasification deal, as detailed in emails from Kelley obtained exclusively by ABC News. Victor said that when Kelley asked for an exorbitant $80 million broker’s fee, the request prompted him to “terminate [their] relationship.”

The Yonhap report also says that South Korean officials had appointed Kelley to the honorary consul position in August “at the recommendation of Petraeus” – an apparent corroboration of a claim Victor says Kelley made to him when they discussed the gasification deal.

“Ms. Kelley made it clear to me that Gen. Petraeus put her in this position, and that’s why she was able to have access to such senior levels [of the Korean government],” Victor told ABC News earlier this month. Victor claimed Kelley said “that they were essentially doing a favor for Gen. Petraeus, and that she had access solely because of her relationship with Gen. Petraeus.”

In a previous ABC News report, Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for Petraeus, said it was “nonsense” that Petraeus had any part in the gasification deal. “He knows nothing about it,” Boylan said. “What other people do, he can’t control.” Another source told ABC News that Petraeus had asked Kelley to stop throwing his name around.

A close friend of Kelley’s, Tampa real estate developer Don Phillips, said he didn’t believe Kelley tried to profit from her connection with Petraeus, saying “There’s no dark plot here. There’s no conspiracy. There is no grand crime.”

Kelley was thrust into the international spotlight earlier this month when she was identified as the woman who sparked an FBI investigation that eventually led to Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA. Months ago Kelley told an FBI friend that she had been receiving harassing emails from an anonymous sender. Agents with the FBI tracked the messages to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer, and in the course of investigating Broadwell, discovered that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair.

The FBI notified the White House of the affair a day after President Obama was reelected and Obama accepted Petraeus’ resignation two days later.

Thursday
Nov152012

Jill Kelley Wanted $80M to Broker Korea Deal: 'It Didn't Smell Right,' Businessman Says

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- A New York businessman who discussed a multi-billion-dollar Korean business deal with Jill Kelley said the Tampa woman at the center of the Petraeus scandal told him Gen. Petraeus had arranged for her to become an honorary consul for South Korea and promote free trade, and then asked him for $80 million to complete the deal.

"Ms. Kelley made it clear to me that General Petraeus put her in this position, and that's why she was able to have access to such senior levels [of the Korean government]," said Adam Victor, president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems, "that they were essentially doing a favor for General Petraeus, and that she had access solely because of her relationship with General Petraeus."

Victor, who met Kelley at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, said he was disappointed in Gen. Petraeus for helping Kelley become an honorary consul. "Frankly, I blame Gen. Petraeus for this as a lapse of judgment," he said. "The general should have known better."

Gen. Petraeus resigned as CIA director last Friday after an FBI investigation turned up evidence of an affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, co-author of the Petraeus biography All In. The investigation began when Kelley, a Tampa socialite, told an FBI agent she knew about "harassing" emails that turned out to originate from Broadwell.

According to Victor, he went to Tampa to promote coal gasification and met a friend of Kelley's who suggested that they meet to discuss a possible international deal. "The person who introduced me to her said that she was well known to be a very close friend of Gen. Petraeus," said Victor.

Victor said that he and Kelley met in "the VIP section" at the convention, where Kelly said that, "she was a very good friend of Gen. Petraeus," and that, "he arranged for her to get this position of honorary consul for South Korea" to promote free trade. She also allegedly said she had access to senior government officials in Korea.

Victor said he thought it made sense that Petraeus would want to put a trusted aide in charge of promoting free trade. When Kelley named her fee for brokering the deal, however, Victor balked. The coal gasification plants under discussion were worth $4 billion, said Victor -- and Kelley wanted a two percent cut. "That's an $80 million fee," he said. "And I mean that is problematic...No broker gets $80 million. I mean that's two whole orders of magnitude higher than what they would get."

Victor said he "terminated the relationship" after Kelley asked for $80 million. He decided that while she was not making an inappropriate request on purpose, it showed she was inexperienced and unqualified for the job. He also began to wonder about Petraeus's judgment.

"It became clear that it did not smell right," he said. "Gen. Petraeus should not have put an inexperienced person in charge of the Free Trade Agreement with such an important ally as South Korea."

"It's a sad day for the country," concluded Victor. "Gen. Petraeus has served this country well."

A spokesperson for Jill Kelley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesperson for ex-CIA Director Petraeus, said it was "nonsense" that Petraeus had any part in Kelley's alleged Korean deal. "He knows nothing about it," insisted Boylan. "What other people do he can't control." Another source told ABC News that Petraeus had asked Kelley to stop throwing his name around.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul242011

Secretary Clinton Announces North Korean Nuclear Talks in NY

Ryan McVay/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Sunday that the United States has invited North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan, who has been North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator in the long-stalled Six Party Talks, to New York for talks with U.S. officials later this week.

The meetings follow talks last week between North and South Korean officials that were aimed at re-starting negotiations. At the time Clinton said nuclear talks could not resume until there was progress between the two sides.

“This will be an exploratory meeting to determine if North Korea is prepared to affirm its obligations under international and Six Party Talk commitments, as well as take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization,” Clinton said in a statement this morning.

“As we have stated repeatedly, we are open to talks with North Korea, but we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table. We will not give them anything new for actions they have already agreed to take. And we have no appetite for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been. The U.S. position remains that North Korea must comply with its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks, relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and the terms of the Armistice Agreement,” she added, staking out a tough US position well in advance.

The Six Party Talks have been dormant for about two years, after North Korea walked away from the table when the UN Security Council slapped more sanctions on Pyongyang following its second nuclear test. Last year, however, they called for their resumption.

Although negotiations have stood still since then, much has changed. Last year tensions with South Korea flared over the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan and on the shelling by North Korea of an island along the border. North Korea revealed what appeared to be a highly evolved uranium enrichment program to visiting American experts last fall. Yet at the same time the country is suffering from massive food shortages and Pyongyang is desperate to get international food aid.

A team of U.S. experts visited the country earlier this year to assess whether the United States will participate in food aid programs, but they have made no decision yet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio