Mounting Division Over Samsung Heir Verdict
South Korean media outlets have emerged divided on Monday, following the jailing of Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong.
Some media outlets have been accused of “kneeling” to the rich, whilst others have openly condemned the ruling.
Korean KoonAng Daily – a company known for close ties with the Samsung Group – stated, “Samsung lawyers will have a good case for an appeal”, and that “No companies can resist such blunt demands from a president who has the final say in economic policy.”
Their quote references allegations that South Korean President Parks offered “repeated and aggressive” requests from Samsung.
On Friday, Samsung’s lawyers referred to the verdict as “unacceptable“, noting they would appeal as soon as possible.
By contrast, The Korea Times reported, “The court’s ruling does leave much to be desired. We hope the high court will do better”.
The Hankyoreh newspaper has joined a suite of liberal newspapers who have slammed the ruling, stating there was a plethora of evidence, inclusive of testimonies and presidential documents:
“The irrational argument against the ruling from conservative media and business papers – who have shown an amicable attitude towards Lee and Samsung – is worrisome”.
Overall, South Korean media outlets remain increasingly divisive over their perception of the truth, with speculation being division will only increase as the saga continues.
Some reports state some of Samsung’s major investment projects may be suspended under the leader’s imprisonment.
A spokesperson from the company stated:
“Samsung Electronics Vice-Chairman Kwon Oh Hyun is expected to contribute to minimizing the leadership vacuum for the time being”.
Mr Kwon currently heads up the semiconductor sector – the most profitable of the electronics division – and has reportedly been leading Samsung affiliates since Lee was detained in February of this year.
Thus far, Samsung’s revenue equal about one fifth of the country’s GDP, and some sources fear the imprisonment of a notable commercial figure may cause ripple effects through the country.
Considered one of the world’s largest smartphone and memory chip makers, the full consequence of the verdict is yet to be fully seen.