South Korean parliament rejects motion to expel lawmaker over crypto scandal

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South Korea’s parliamentary ethics subcommittee has voted down a motion to expel Kim Nam-kuk, a former member of the main opposition Democratic Party.

A parliamentary ethics subcommittee of South Korea has voted down a motion to expel Kim Nam-kuk, a former member of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), the local news agency Yonhap reported on Aug. 30.

The subcommittee rejected the proposal on Aug. 29 after the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the DP divided evenly over the motion in a 3–3 vote. A majority of votes was needed for the motion to be passed, the report notes.

As previously reported, Kim came under fire earlier this year when he was found to have once held at least $4.5 million in Wemix (WEMIX) tokens, developed by the South Korean blockchain game developer Wemade. Wemix tokens had been allowed for trading on major exchanges in South Korea before a local court ordered to delist the tokens on the platforms in late 2022.

Kim’s involvement in WEMIX investments spurred major concerns over potential conflicts of interest, using insider information and even money laundering. The case contributed to the rapid development of a legal initiative to require officials to report on their holdings of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in South Korea.

Kim Nam-kuk at a plenary session at the National Assembly in Seoul on Aug. 24, 2023. Source: Yonhap

Officials in South Korea are not alone in being asked to report on their cryptocurrency holdings in the country. In July, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission announced a new bill that would require all firms that issue or hold cryptocurrencies to disclose their holdings from 2024.

Related: SEC seeks to question Terraform Labs co-founder Daniel Shin in Korea

In mid-August, the South Korean city of Cheongju also said that it would start confiscating cryptocurrency from local tax delinquents, requiring exchanges, such as Upbit and Bithumb, to report on such perpetrators.

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