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S. Korea to unveil measures to stem property speculation by civil servants

All News 08:13 March 26, 2021

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to unveil a set of measures next week to root out property speculation by public officials amid a mounting public outcry over a land speculation scandal by public officials, the finance minister said Friday.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki stressed the government is preparing to come up with measures to eradicate property speculation and illegal practices, and prevent the recurrence of similar cases.

"(With the measures), the government plans to apply very strict standards and require responsibility for civil servants and public officials," Hong said at a meeting with related ministers over the property market.

The harsh warning came as police are widening their probe into allegations of land speculation by employees of the Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH), the public housing developer.

The LH scandal erupted in early March after two civic groups accused 14 LH officials of using insider information to buy farmland in two satellite cites south of Seoul between April 2018 and June 2020, before they were formally designated as development sites.

The allegations have rocked the nation at a time when public discontent over skyrocketing home prices runs high.

Despite the snowballing scandal, the government made clear that it will push ahead with its massive housing supply plan unveiled in February.

Last month, the government unveiled a plan to increase the number of new homes by up to 836,000 nationwide in the next four years in a bid to help stabilize rising housing prices.

This photo, taken March 21, 2021, shows apartment buildings in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken March 21, 2021, shows apartment buildings in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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