Former minister quizzed over alleged anti-labor scheme

SEOUL, The prosecution questioned a former labor minister on Monday over alleged involvement in the state spy agency's maneuvering to establish a pro-government labor organization and weaken grass-root workers' movements under the past conservative Lee Myung-bak government.

Prosecutors have been investigating the allegations that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) orchestrated the establishment of a third labor umbrella group in 2011 to counter the traditional union groups, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU).

Lee Chae-pil, who served as minister of employment and labor from 2011-13, is suspected of asking the NIS to support the new conservative labor group, which later merged with the FKTU in 2014.

Lee, 62, denied any wrongdoing when he appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office at about 2 p.m.

"While in public service, I did nothing that contravenes the law and my occupational conscience," he told reporters.

Prosecutors raided the labor ministry last week to obtain evidence related to the allegations.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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