South Korea prosecutors question former vice sports minister


SEOUL, South Korea : South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday questioned a former vice sports minister over an explosive political scandal that's threatening Park Geun-hye's presidency and could spill over to preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The summoning of Kim Chong came as prosecutors prepare to take their investigation to Park, who has apologized over suspicions that she allowed her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil to manipulate power from the shadows and exploit her presidential ties to amass an illicit fortune.

"I will sincerely attend to the prosecution's investigation," Kim told reporters before entering the prosecutors' office.

Kim has been suspected of swinging lucrative business deals to sports organizations controlled by Choi, who prosecutors have arrested and plan to indict by the end of the week, and also influencing the ministry's decision to financially support a winter sports foundation run by Choi's niece.

The media has also raised suspicions that Kim aided Choi in her alleged attempts to land Olympic construction deals through business partnerships.

Nussli, a Swiss company that reportedly had a business partnership with a company Choi owned in Germany, hasn't responded to multiple requests by The Associated Press seeking to confirm whether it had tried to win construction deals for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games with the help of Choi.

In a telephone conversation with the AP last week, Kim said that, under the direction of the president's office, he instructed Pyeongchang organizers sometime around March or April to review Nussli's design for temporary stands at one of the Olympic venues being built.

However, Kim said the design was merely one of the alternatives reviewed as the government looked for ways to reduce Olympic costs, and that it was immediately rejected by organizers because it wasn't economical enough. Kim also said he had no knowledge at the time of business ties between Nussli and Choi's company, The Blue K.

Kim resigned as deputy sports minister last month amid the allegations.

Prosecutors had at first wanted to question Park as ahead of schedule as Wednesday, however in a broadcast news gathering on Tuesday, Park's attorney asked for more opportunity to plan. 

On Saturday, a huge number of South Koreans revived in Seoul requiring Park's acquiescence in what may have been the biggest hostile to government challenge organized in the nation since it shook off fascism three decades back. 

While trying to settle the circumstance, Park has said she would give the resistance controlled parliament a chance to pick her leader. In any case, resistance parties say her words are pointless without particular guarantees about exchanging quite a bit of her presidential forces to another No. 2. 

Restriction parties have yet to genuinely push for Park's arraignment over feelings of dread of setting off a reaction from preservationist voters and contrarily affecting one year from now's presidential race, yet they have been venturing up requires her to leave. 

Under South Korean law, the president has insusceptibility from indictment aside from in instances of conspiracy, yet she can be examined. 

Stop has 15 months left in her term. On the off chance that she ventures down before the end of it, a decision must be held