Ex-Legislation Minister Lee gives scholarships to Thais

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 6, 2013 - 18:39
  • Updated : Jan 6, 2013 - 18:39
Kim Jong-koo (third from left, back row), head of Asia Children Charity, poses with Thai Amb. to the U.S. Chaiyong Satjipanon (fourth from left, back row), Thai students and officials after delivering scholarships on behalf of former South Korean Minister of Government Legislation Lee Seog-yeon, in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday. (Yonhap News)
Former Minister of Government Legislation Lee Seog-yeon gave 10 million won in scholarships to six Thai students Saturday through the Asia Children Charity, a Seoul-based relief group for Asian children.

The scholarships were the legal fees he had received for settling the case involving the death of the wife of former Thai Ambassador to South Korea Chaiyong Satjipanon.

Chaiyong sued Soon Chun Hyang University Medical Center in Seoul on charges of negligent homicide after his wife died of intestinal obstruction at the hospital in September 2011, when he served as ambassador to South Korea. He left the case to Lee, who is a lawyer.

The matter almost developed into a diplomatic issue as the diplomatic corps in Korea sent the government a letter urging an immediate resolution. Then, Lee mediated and settled the case in March, last year, with the hospital paying 250 million won.

Chaiyong was assigned to the U.S. on April 1 after the settlement.

“I can’t use the money personally. Chaiyong gave it to me when he was sad at his wife’s sudden death,” Lee told Yonhap news agency, “So I let him know I can’t accept the money, and I decided to give it to Thai students through a scholarship.”
Lee Seog-yeon

The scholarship award ceremony was held in the Thai defense ministry in Bangkok on Saturday. Chaiyong attended as he was back home temporarily for vacation.

Chaiyong said that less fortunate students could continue to study and pursue their dreams thanks to Lee’s kindness, and also expressed gratitude on behalf of the Thai government, Kim Jong-koo, head of Asia Children Charity, said.

By Chun Sung-woo (