EDITORIAL NOTES

Appoint right people to prevent disservice to the country: The Korea Herald

Flags of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and member states are set up for the opening ceremony of the first annual meeting of AIIB in Beijing, China on June 25, 2016.
Flags of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and member states are set up for the opening ceremony of the first annual meeting of AIIB in Beijing, China on June 25, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Last week the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) posted a job vacancy announcement on its website. It included openings for vice president for finance and director-general for risk management.

The announcement confirmed that the bank is seeking a replacement for Hong Kyttack, the South Korean vice president for risk management who is on a leave of absence. 

Also evident is that the vice presidency that had been held by Hong went to the finance officer and the post of the risk management officer had been demoted to director-general level.

In other words, South Korea -- the fifth-largest contributor to the regional development bank -- has lost a vice president’s post. 

Worse yet, the finance officer who will hold one of the five vice presidencies has already been nominated -- reportedly a French national -- and no one can be sure whether the bank will give the post of the director-general for risk to a South Korean. 

As this newspaper had already pointed out, a perfect combination of an incompetent, irresponsible man with Park’s insistence on appointing people she knows well resulted in this disastrous situation. 

The biggest blame of course should go to Hong himself. The former economics professor who had been appointed by Park to head the state-run Korea Development Bank and then sent to the AIIB had simply disappeared after asking for a six-month leave of absence.  

Hong’s actions, which even caught related government officials in Seoul by surprise, came at a time when what he had done while heading the KDB faced increased scrutiny in the wake of the investigation into Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. (DSME).  

As the saying goes -- it‘s no use crying over spilt milk. 

What Park and her aides should do is bring Hong home and have him take responsibility for whatever wrongdoings he committed while he was with the KDB and the AIIB. 

The recent arrest of a former CEO of DSME increases the need to investigate Hong and the KDB, the largest shareholder of DSME, which needs massive bailout money to stay afloat. Park and Hong have already done the country enough disservice.
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The Korea Herald is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 21 newspapers.