January 22nd, 2016 15:30. Seoul Jung-ku Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation Unit 2 Interrogation Room.
All media outlets from Korea were full of controversy. Its broadcasts were filled with the announcement regarding the corruption scandal of the Navy's Aegis system and defense industries by Director Ahn Chang-gil from the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation. After three months passed, the Bureau's discovery and the announcement of the corruption scandal lead to a judgment of all individuals related to the various corruption charges that were rampant across the previous government. It became a starting point for uprooting it.
A burly man in a black suit and white shirt with short hair threw a stack of papers on the table and began speaking firmly to a man in his 60s, who was sitting arrogantly. "Ex Minister of National Defense Jeon Oh-geun, take a look here." The man pointing to the bank statements with an aggressive tone was Manager Kang Chul-joong from the Corruption Investigation Unit 2 Team 1. "Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun? Ah, it's too much of a mouthful to call you with your old title as well. I'll just call you Mr. Jeon Oh-geun. Do you understand, Mr. Jeon Oh-guen?"
Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun did not move an inch from Manager Kang Chul-joong's firm tone. He said while smiling slightly, "Manager Kang, what're you doing? This isn't the time of the 5th Republic; it's not the 80s; do you think you can get away with acting like this, mimicking the NIS?"
Manager Kang Chul-joong's was angered, untied his tie, and continued speaking. "Easy for you to say! If that's the case Jeon Oh-geun, why did you commit such a crime using your authority, despite it not being the time of the 5th Republic anymore? Why the corruption? Why did you take the citizens' precious tax dollars and shove it up your ass?"
If this intelligence agency had been judged by the government's normal standards, its interrogation tactics would have crossed a line, and it could have been prosecuted for defamation. However, since Korea was in a state of national emergency, the bureau responsible for investigating corruption scandals was granted the ability to use intense interrogations tactics.
Ex Minister of National Defense Jeon Oh-geun felt angered by Manager Kang Chul-joong's words. He kicked his chair, stood up, and began shouting while pointing his fingers as he was being handcuffed. "What? How dare you, you bastard! Do you think you'll get away with this?"
Manager Kang Chul-joong slammed both of his fists on the table and shouted, "Sit down! You son of a bitch! Do you not understand what's going on? Do you still think you're in the past? You fucking asshole!"
"YouI will not...!"
Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun, who was talking back to Manager Kang Chul-joong angrily, fell back and tripped on the chair. He had been punched in the face. Manager Kang Chul-joong rolled up his sleeves, began walking towards the Ex Minister, and then started to kick him.
Smack! Smack! Smack!
"Ple, please. Stop...please!"
Manager Kang Chul-joong finally stopped kicking and sat down, but only when Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun curled up and begged for him to stop. Kang Chul-joong told the Ex Minister, who was bleeding from his lip, to stand back up. A moment later, Manager Kang Chul-joong handed the Ex Minister a cigarette and spoke in a calm tone. "Mr. Jeon Oh-geun, let's read the room. Do you understand? Let's take a break to smoke."
After they smoked their cigarettes, Manager Kang Chul-joong pulled out a couple of photographs from his back pocket and put them near the Ex Minister's face.
"These photos, they're great, aren't they? So detailed?"
"Howhow did you?!"
Ex Minister of National Defense Jeon Oh-geun fell silent from shock and bowed his head. The picture portrayed him and the lobbyist Lizzy Ahn from Lockheed Martin in a condo bedroom at Seorak Mountain.
"It's not my style to threaten people like this, but since you couldn't read the room, I had to resort to methods like this, you know? Mr. Jeon Oh-geun! All the evidence for the corruption scandal exists in these files. Just hand over the list of people that own the borrowed-name bank accounts. If you do, we'll never reveal these photographs. Wouldn't adding prostitution charges along with corruption be unwise? You must think about your family, don't you think?"
Ex Minister of Defense Jeon Oh-geun took awhile to think, then asked for another cigarette in a trembling tone. Manager Kang Chul-joong threw him the whole pack and stood up. "Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun, take some time to think while you smoke. All you need to do is write a list of names on that piece of paper over there. I'll return in an hour."
Manager Kang Chul-joong closed the interrogation room door and left.
Jeon Oh-geun thought back to the time when he held the position of Minister. Back then he had the authority to move billions of dollars, and he could enjoy his power. Reality hit, and he saw himself handcuffed in a dark, damp, underground interrogation room smoking. He felt pity and began to weep.
Recently Congress had passed the bill for transient punishment for defense industry corruption charges, and the sentences now even included allowing the death penalty. He had nothing to lose from revealing all the people involved, but him being charged for prostitution was a different matter. Accepting bribes and other corruption charges would only be his own responsibility, but if word got out about the affair, then his wife and children would also be affected.
Ex Minister of National Defense Jeon Oh-geun finished the pack of cigarettes in 30 minutes, and then he picked up the pen and began writing the list of names on the white sheet of paper.
* * *
January 23rd, 2016 09:30. Seoul Jongro-ku Blue House President's Office.
The President asked the Director of the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation, "Is this true?"
The President could not withold his shock from the first report related to the Navy's defense industry corruption scandal. It had been more serious than he expected.
The Director of the Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation replied, "Yes, sir. This is the list of names that hold the borrowed-named bank accounts we obtained from Ex Minister Jeon Oh-geun."
President Suh Hyun-woo was shocked by the number of names in the list, but the fact he saw the names of people he knewpeople he considered to be his friendsmade him that much more surprised. Secretary Na Sung-tae, who was also inspecting the list, seemed to be angry and spoke firmly. "This is outrageous. A rebate that's equivalent to a third of the entire budget, how much did these men take? People like this are the reason why the lives of the young men we draft to protect the nation are at stake; they're why the equipment we provide them is faultyit's an abuse of citizens' precious tax dollars."
"Yes, you're right. We must show these people how severe the crime is for fooling around with the citizens' taxes." The President, who was checking the list name by name, placed it on the table and continued speaking while he looked at Director Ahn Chang-gil. "It's important that the individuals listed here and any related are punished by the law, but it's also important that all the money that was embezzled be returned to the national treasury. Please keep this in mind while you work."
"I'll do my best. I'm currently investigating the assets of the individuals on the list with the Financial Supervisory Office, the National Tax Service, and many intelligence agencies jointly to have every single penny returned to the national treasury."
"I see. You have no idea how relieved I am every time I hear you report, Director Ahn."
"It's nothing, sir."
"Also, Chief Na, please set up a meeting with Minister Lee Jae-soo for tomorrow morning."
President Suh Hyun-woo wanted to check with the Minister of Justice Lee Jae-soo whether or not the transience punishment bill from Congress would be applicable in the navy's defense industry corruption scandal, so he ordered the meeting.
The opposing party and other powers were all criticizing and opposing the government for creating departments for audits and inspections concerning citizens' rights, but the President pushed through the opposition. The Secret Bureau of Corruption Investigation had made tremendous progress in three months.
The meeting continued for another hour, and it ended in a bright mood.
* * *
January 25th, 2016 10:30. Seoul NIS Safehouse Hospital Infirmary.
It was an infirmary and it had hospital beds, but this was no ordinary infirmary. There were numerous computers and machines installed in the room as well. The man who was busily working while looking at the computer monitor was Kim In-jik, no NIS agent Namgoong-won.
Namgoong-won was so busy with work and staring at the monitor that he didn't notice anyone enter the room. He was startled by Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin's voice.
"When did you get here?"
"How could an agent of the NIS not notice people approaching you? If your senses are that dull, you're going to be taken out silently, you know?"
"Come on, am I a field agent?"
"Well, agents like you also hit the field every now and then! It'll all change once you get trained, I suppose?"
"What? Do I have to go through more training?"
"You didn't know? I guess Manager Ahn didn't tell you? I suppose considering your situation... New agents of the NIS go through training; field agents are trained for six months, while intelligence agents are trained for three months."
"Oh my god. I want to quit."
"It's too late, Agent Namgoong, so stop spouting nonsense and get back to work."
Namgoong-won felt slightly worried by Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin's half-joking words, but since he had been assigned his first mission since joining the NIS, he decided to concentrate and get back to work.
Namgoong-won did not take his eyes off the screen for an hour. He worked hard. After he was finished, he stretched.
"Okay, I'm done."
Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin, who was reading a book in a chair, turned around. "Really? That's amazing that you finished it so fast. Good! Put all the organized data on this USB drive for me."
"That was nothing. Ha, ha, I already did that. Here."
"Namgoong, next week we'll pack up from here and go to the agency. So, start packing soon. Well, I suppose you don't have much to take already?"
Namgoong-won seemed to have been annoyed by Assistant Manager Lee Hye-jin's teasing; he got into the position of firing a pistol and spoke arrogantly. "Let's make that bet at the firing range for pistols when we get to the agency, shall we? That'll be the day when I become the best marksman in the agency."
"Ho, ho, ho, fine. Let's add five smacks to the head along with granting a wish to the bet!"
"I call. But it's kind of hard for me to hit a woman..."
"Stop acting out. I'm going now to turn in the data. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Yes, take care."