1.

This person has original sin.

To have wealth and honor that he did not build up with his own hands, this is the original sin of this man. Everything this man has experienced over the past few years stems from his original sin. Samsung was created by my father and raised by me, so it is instinctive for a father to pass it down to his son. The question is, have you paid the price for what you inherited? Considering the strong antipathy towards the chaebol, the question becomes more stringent. The fact that he was arrested twice in five years since 2016 and received more than 70 prosecution investigations and trials all stemmed from the original sin. I have been told that he has everything in this world except for freedom, and because he has a lot of money, the amount of misfortune that comes with money is also great. Of course, the misfortunes he brought upon himself are no less than that. It is the story of Lee Jae-yong, who was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for bribing the highest power and his minions of 8.6 billion won in order to succeed to management, and is currently serving a sentence in the Seoul Detention Center. He has many stories and has come and gone in the mouths of many people, but he hardly ever talked about himself with his own mouth. I couldn't meet this person in person, who is spending the hottest summer in my 54-year life in a solitary room of 1.9 pyeong in Seoul Detention Center. Instead, through the mouths of those who have met this person closely over the past few years, I looked at Lee Jae-yong's yesterday and today and counted his future.




2. In 2016, when this person was arrested for the National Nongdan incident, Ji-Sung Choi, the head of the Future Strategy Office, visited for the first time and then gathered key staff members of the Future Strategy Office. Jisung Choi sighed and spoke. It is said that when Lee Jae-yong goes out of the prison to be investigated by the special prosecutor in the future, he will wear a prison uniform and a shroud from the prison, not plain clothes. For the unconvicted prisoner whose sentence has not been confirmed, it was his choice whether to wear plain clothes or a shroud when he left the prison. Choi Ji-sung asked the thoughts of Lee In-yong, president of Samsung Electronics. Lee In-yong expressed his opposition, fearing that wearing a shroud would damage the image of global company Samsung. And I asked Jisung Choi why.



“But why do you think the Vice-President would do that?” Choi Ji-Sung took a deep breath and answered. "A lot of people want to see you in a shroud, so you have to show that." Choi Ji-sung ordered Lee In-yong to visit and persuade Lee Jae-yong. The next day, Lee In-yong, who went to the Seoul Detention Center, did not speak long to Lee Jae-yong. "I heard from the head of the department yesterday. Let's go out in plain clothes." Jaeyong Lee appeared at the special prosecutor's office the next day in plain clothes.



Although this person's words and actions since 2016 are a struggle not to go to jail, they are also an effort to wash away the original sin. The public's anger against him thought he would not be resolved without seeing himself in a prison uniform, standing in court, and imprisoned. The idea that one is not a criminal who has committed a crime, but a victim of the sikkim-gut, is an important point in understanding this person's words and actions.




In May of last year, Jae-yong Lee directly announced a public declaration to the public that he would no longer hand over Samsung's management rights to future generations.

The announcement, which accepted almost 100% of the recommendations of the Samsung Compliance Committee, also included a statement that it would give up its predecessor's legacy of non-union management and that it would actively communicate with civil society organizations.

Lee In-yong explained that this reflects Jae-yong Lee's idea that the people have a desire for them and that they should actively respond to them.


“I think it was necessary for me to respond positively to the criticisms, attacks, or winds that society pours on Samsung. I think the announcement came out of context.”

(Lee In-yong, President of Samsung Electronics)


Last March, the appendix ruptured and the colon rotted, but he endured two days in the detention center while refusing external treatment recommendations. The excruciating pain started three days before the appendix burst, but he refused an external treatment recommendation. Two days after the appendix ruptured, he underwent surgery at Samsung Seoul Hospital. At this time, as a result of the aftereffects, I lost 8 kg of weight and had to cut off a part of the large intestine. I feel like I'm inducing torture. The reason for refusing external treatment was that he did not want to be told that he would receive special treatment, but this person must have thought that this suffering was also a process of washing away his original sin.



3. All concluding statements are inscriptions. It is said in front of the final judgment that will determine one's fate, so there is no need not to be desperate, and that desperation makes a prestigious name. Jaeyong Lee made his final statement three times. Among them, the final statement of the appeals court in December 2017 is worthy of note. Never again will such a desperate story come out of this man's mouth. Lee Jae-yong, who was sentenced to five years in prison in the first trial, did not seem likely to be released in the second trial. It was right after the Moon Jae-in government took office, and it was a time when demands for strict government nongdan and eradication of corruption flowed over the prison walls and into his solitary cell. The 2,400-word final statement came during the darkest and most hopeless period of this man's life. At a point in time when the future was nowhere to be seen, this person talks about his dreams and his life goals. It sounds like a monologue to an invisible hope. There is a sense of resignation that my words will not change the outcome.



"Chief Judge. It's presumptuous, but I want to tell you about my life's dream, my life's goal, and my dream as a manager and entrepreneur. I wanted to… My dream was to inherit Samsung and to be recognized as a true entrepreneur who dedicated to our country through hard management and could share even a little bit more of the benefits I had received with society. I wanted to be recognized as a world-class company leader by making my company stronger, stronger and more valuable solely with my skills and efforts. This was the dream of my life and my goal as an entrepreneur."


The words wanting to be recognized, wanting to be recognized are repeated sadly.

It was a dream to be recognized as someone's grandson, not someone's son, but Lee Jae-yong.

However, 'the skein was too twisted', and his trust in himself fell to the bottom.

It is unlikely that time will unravel this tangled thread.

It was literally the bottom of my life.

Still, it doesn't seem like he's lost his way even in a situation where everyone seems to laugh and ridicule him when he says, "You have to take full responsibility for this tangled thread will start to unravel."



Taking responsibility does not mean admitting your sins.

He accepts the situation of being punished by law, but he firmly believes that he did not commit a crime.

Although he was born as the son of a chaebol, he said that the prosecution's indictment that he had bribed the most powerful to succeed in management is by no means true.

This person's final statement is full of words such as 'repentance', 'apology', and 'reflection', and although 'everything is one's responsibility' and 'no excuse', he does not admit his guilt.

Rather, it is still embarrassing.


"I suspect that the Samsung C&T merger caused a loss to the National Pension Service and made huge profits, but this is by no means true. No matter how poor and poor I am, would I be greedy for harming the National Pension Service, which is the old-age fund of the common people? I'm really sorry for such a serious misunderstanding. Please clear this misunderstanding."

(Lee Jae-yong during the final statement of the 1st trial)



4. The Samsung Compliance Committee is an ambiguous body. It does not have any legal basis, and it feels like it was made hastily according to the recommendation of the Tribunal. Nevertheless, it is an organization that leads change in Samsung. The base is weak, but the power is strong. At least within Samsung, this organization exerts undisputed power. As it is a voluntary organization that is not based on the law, it rather shows the paradox that it is free from the restrictions of the law. The purpose of this organization was to bring about fundamental change in Samsung rather than just conveying external voices to Samsung. The head of this organization is former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyeong. Kim Ji-hyeong, who served as a Supreme Court Justice and rejected several offers of high-ranking public office, accepted the chairperson position, symbolically showing that Samsung means more than just one company in Korean society.




“A lot of people stopped me and I was very worried…. The views on Samsung in our society are very different, so I thought that I should play a role in bridging the gap. I accepted the offer because I thought we might need someone who could do something like that to get rid of the shackles and the things that hold us back to growing as a company.”



-There is also a critical view that it is an organization that has no legal basis and was created for the purpose of saving Lee Jae-yong.


“It is true that it is a voluntary organization. However, if the company cancels this organization because of that, the burden on the company will be enormous. I accepted it as a condition of making it public."



The two have met five times since the committee was launched last year. There were public meetings, there were private meetings, but there were no comfortable meetings over a glass of wine.



- What was your impression of Jaeyong Lee?


“It was similar to what I thought. I got the impression that he was gentle and polite…. He talks very little. I think it’s similar to Chairman Lee Kun-hee. I met him several times and thought that I was born with a very difficult human nature. When someone asks, 'Do you want to be born as a Samsung child like Lee Jae-yong?'



Sometimes it's soft advice, sometimes it's harsh pressure. Regarding the announcement to the public in May of last year, there were many voices within Samsung against Lee Jae-yong's direct action. Kim Ji-hyeong, who heard this news while on vacation, met Lee Jae-yong the day before the announcement. His position was firm.



"'I didn't think that it would be something to worry about this much for Vice Chairman Lee himself to make a presentation. Comparing what the president does with what he does not, the answer is too obvious. I will make a public statement of regret,'" he said.




Whether this pressure worked or not, Jae-yong Lee personally made a presentation, bowed deeply twice, and promised in his own voice that there would be no more succession of management rights. Establishing a compliance committee and accepting the compliance committee's recommendations were previously unimaginable within Samsung. Among Samsung men, there were many people who took it as an impossible humiliation. The reason for accepting the compliance committee's recommendation, which contained a cold and transparent view of Samsung, was basically because this person was in the same predicament, but it is true that he also had a strong thought that he and Samsung should take this opportunity to shed their original sins.



5. Lee In-yong is armed with affection, pride, and loyalty to the organization he belongs to. Lee In-yong's words were clear, orderly, and balanced. It was an attitude that was difficult to show if he was not convinced that he was doing the right thing. I could feel that Jae-yong Lee was talking to this person and listening to what he had to say. Lee In-yong heard from Lee Jae-yong in 2007 that there would be no more fourth-generation succession at Samsung. The relationship between the two can be inferred to some extent by the fact that at Samsung, Jaeyong Lee heard the words equivalent to the heavenly flag 15 years ago.




The Seoul High Court recommended the compliance committee in October 2019, and in February 2020, Samsung accepted this recommendation and launched the compliance committee chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyeong. It has been five months since the court's recommendation. It means that the internal discussion was fierce, and there were a lot of voices against it. Although the alternative method of strengthening the board of directors and having a special committee in charge of compliance monitoring within the board of directors was discussed as an alternative, Jaeyong Lee chose to establish a compliance committee. Kim Ji-hyung was appointed as the compliance committee chairperson, and Kim Ji-hyung was virtually entrusted with the composition of the committee. In-yong Lee, who has worked with Ji-hyeong Kim on the issue of compensation for leukemia victims, was selected as the only Samsung in-house committee member. Lee In-yong, a former MBC anchor, said it was true that Samsung had to change, but it was not desirable to be viewed as giving in to external pressure. Lee In-yong, who was originally skeptical of the establishment of the Compliance Committee, opposed the inclusion of the 4th-generation renunciation in the public announcement. Jae-yong Lee was also opposed to making the announcement himself.



"I was also concerned about internal agitation and backlash if such an announcement was made. Samsung has a unique culture that places the chairman's family at the center. Owners and professional managers recognize and harmonize each other's roles. I am grateful and respectful that we have come this far for doing so, and I think that the role of the owner should continue, but as time goes on, such a central point is weakening, so I thought it was necessary to talk about it first. ."



Lee In-yong, who was the only Samsung internal member of the Compliance Committee, left the Compliance Committee after three months. It was said that he resigned inevitably because it was difficult to work on the company and the committee. There was a fierce debate over the role, function, and authority of the Compliance Committee, and that debate was both a debate over where the future of Samsung will lead and a struggle for initiative. The internal logic of maintaining the current system based on the owner system was opposed to the external logic of delegating the authority of the owner to professional managers and emphasizing communication with civil society. When internal and external logic collided, Lee Jae-yong listened more to the outside voice. Through a message in prison that was released three days after being detained, he urged them to do their part, saying that they would continue to support the activities of the Compliance Committee. It was the only prison message Lee Jae-yong sent. On the surface, the voices of outside figures, including Kim Ji-hyeong, seem overwhelming, but most of the staff that Jae-yong Lee trusts and relies on are people from the former Future Strategy Office, and they surround him.



<Super Gap> is a book written by Oh-Hyun Kwon, one of the protagonists of Samsung's myth.

In this book, Oh-Hyun Kwon talks about the division of roles between owners and professional managers in quite detail.

Decisions such as large-scale investment and new business entry are made by the owner, but the authority to execute them, such as organizational structure and personnel personnel, should be left to the professional management, and the owner should not be involved.

In a word, we want to change the relationship between the owner and the professional manager, which is currently a top-down relationship, into a complementary relationship.

This book is what Oh-Hyun Kwon realized and learned while running Samsung. The person who needs this book the most and can learn the most from this book is Jae-Yong Lee.

Although Oh-Hyun Kwon never said such a thing, it would not be unreasonable to say that Jae-Yong Lee was the first reader assumed while writing this book.

I asked Kwon Oh-hyun through a text message.




- It seems that the person who needs the president's advice the most is Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, have you ever given such advice?


Oh-Hyun Kwon's short answer was:

“I give advice when requested… I haven’t talked about management in person since I left active duty.”



It is unknown whether Lee Jae-yong could not afford to listen to Kwon Oh-hyun's story, or whether he had no desire to hear it, or whether he or his opportunity to hear such words was blocked.




6. Although I attended all the meetings chaired by Chairman Lee Kun-hee, this person always sat at the end of the meeting. It was the same when I became president and vice president. There was hardly any right to speak. This may be a way to educate Crown Prince Lee Kun-hee to listen and learn more from a low position, but the existence of Jae-yong Lee, who always sits at the end of the day and listens mainly regardless of his rank, instills in other Samsung executives the perception that this person is a special person different from us. was enough for Jaeyong Lee occasionally dined with group executives, but never played golf or mountaineering together. Lee In-yong also said he had never played golf with Lee Jae-yong. I also go hiking alone. Last fall, I injured my collarbone while climbing Mt. Chiak, and I was alone this time.



He rarely sees a weak, disheveled appearance. I've never seen him stretch, burp, cross legs, or yawn in front of others. During the 22-hour investigation by the special prosecutor, he did not show any disorder at all, making it a hot topic in the special prosecutor's office at the time. I do not do any social media activity. This man's speech is very short. It is at most three or four sentences. I wondered if I could convey the message properly only in such short words. At the 2019 memorial service for Chairman Lee Byung-cheol, the greeting from the bereaved family was only six or seven sentences. It wasn't that he spared no words, but that was enough. It's like the emperor's words don't have to be a long story.




It was a being that was distinct from others, an existence that seemed to be slightly floating in the air without feet touching the ground, an existence separated from reality. This person's realm was distinct from that of others, and he did not allow others to enter his territory. It was a self-inflicted loneliness. It's kind of like Samsung's culture. It is taboo to talk about the owner family in Samsung. No matter how hard they tried, there was no way to contact Lee Jae-yong's family like Hong Ra-hee and Hong Seok-hyun. I couldn't find an email address, let alone my home address, phone number. It must have been that they were living on this land, but they felt like people who did not have an address on this land. It was only when I heard a Samsung official say that Hong Ra-hee and Lee Bu-jin shed tears of joy when Lee Jae-yong was released on probation on appeal. Kim Yong-cheol, who exposed Samsung's slush funds 25 years ago, said:



"They're not people I can understand, understand, or predict. They're not high-altitude play, they're people who think they're in the stratosphere."




Grandpa and father took over and ruled the Samsung Empire with the image of a hermit, aristocratic and imperial.

The image of this person feels like such a Samsung company is being made meticulously according to tradition.

This person wasn't like that from the beginning.



Jae-yong Lee, who wrote his father’s occupation as an office worker in the academic record of Seoul National University, took part in a protest by pretending to be lovers with Choi Young-in, a one-year senior at the time of the uprising in June 1987, to experience the strong taste of tear gas and also participated in the struggle for refusing to enter the front. .

It could be said that anyone would have done that kind of behavior at that time, but it took a lot of courage for the successor of Samsung to do that.

I didn't fall for the MT with my travels or my classmates.

The hike to Mt. Seorak for 2 days and 1 night, which I also went on a trip with, is still a memory among my classmates.

When I paid tuition for a colleague in need and went for a hike, my friends brought high-quality chocolates that they had never heard of, but they didn't look like a wealthy family.

I was dating a girl I admired, and it was only 6 months later.

I used to have quite intense discussions with my classmates, but Kim Woo-seok was a good discussion partner for Lee Jae-yong.


"Lee Jae-yong actively participated in the debate. He was a friend who did not shy away from intense arguments, but the process of arguing with Jae-yong didn't come out that much. He actively argued for himself and listened to other people's stories. I did it."

(Kim Woo-seok, member of the Korea Communications Standards Commission)


Occasionally, he said he had to work to feed hundreds of thousands of people, but his friends didn't treat him that special either. College classmates, including Goo Beom-jin and Kim Yong-wook, were invited to attend this person's wedding as well as sister Lee Bu-jin's wedding. He was a young man in his twenties in Korea when he and his friends were thinking about how to solve the military service problem. He seriously considered going to Sangmu and enlisting as a bachelor's officer using his national equestrian career, but in any case, he was exempted from military service in November 1991 due to a herniated disc. To his friends at the time, Jae-yong Lee remained the image of "a model student who tried not to be a nuisance to others and not to listen to anyone's dislike."



Relationships with college classmates continued for some time after graduation. The meeting, which was held once or twice a year, was interrupted when this person became the vice president, and now, except for one or two people, the relationship seems to have ended. From the point of view of his classmates, it means that he has become too distant to deal with without hesitation. According to college classmate Kim Yong-wook, at a year-end meeting the year he became vice president, this person 'crazy' turned the glass. It was the last place to appear at a classmate's meeting.



7. The president makes a statement, the ruling party leader throws his luck, and almost all the ruling and opposition presidential candidates tune in.

The most recent opinion poll on this person's parole is 70% in favor and 22% against (a joint 7.29 survey of 4 organizations including Embrain Public).

Considering that the so-called Lee Kun-hee collection donation and the announcement of the largest inheritance tax payment ever created a favorable atmosphere for Samsung, the response of nearly 70% in favor is surprising.


“It is said that when a person commits a crime, the law should be applied equally regardless of the person's high or low status, whether he has money or not. I'm also curious about how the poll question was structured, but I don't think the candlelight citizens have changed. The most important thing to talk about right now is fairness and equity. Answers like this in such a situation do not match the spirit of the times well, but amnesty or amnesty. I don't think parole is a decision based on public opinion."

(Park Eun-jung, Secretary General of the Solidarity for Participation)



There is an atmosphere that Samsung should not lift a finger on the issue of amnesty and parole. There is no mention of Samsung being behind the scenes. Still, if this person gets released, it's Samsung's strength. A large number of people in favor means that there are many people who have interests with Samsung. More than 5 million people own Samsung Electronics shares. Some may think that if Samsung goes wrong, the country will be ruined, or that the punishment is more than what this man has committed.



1,56 civil society organizations such as the Solidarity for Participation, Economic Reform Coalition, and Gyeongsilyeon are working together to raise the voices of those who believe that there are things that shouldn't be spent, and those who believe that the collaboration between Samsung and Park Geun-hye is the core of the state government nongdan. It is incorporated in the published statement. Although the Moon Jae-in government is warning that if Lee Jae-yong is released in any way, he will be crossing a river that should not be crossed, but it is unclear how heavily this government is listening to that voice.



8. After Chairman Lee Kun-hee collapsed, this person's situation was somewhat erratic.

Although it was the actual head of the group, the second person in the group was Choi Ji-sung, who was appointed by his father Kun-hee and delegated much of the authority.

Jae-yong Lee was respectful to Ji-sung Choi.

If we had to meet, we went to Choi Ji-sung's room on the 42nd floor of the Samsung office building in Seocho-dong, Seoul, went down to his room on the 41st floor, and gave up his seat to Choi Ji-sung when getting in a car or at a restaurant.

The staff encouraged him to rise to the chair of president and exercise his authority along with his responsibilities, but this man rejected the offer, saying, "My father is still alive...".

Lee In-yong analyzed Jae-yong Lee's situation as follows under the premise of his own observation.


"I think the positioning of Vice Chairman Lee himself must have been very difficult. The responsibility and burden was enormous, but I don't think he exercised 100% of his authority. However, the situation would have been different if I had officially taken office as the president and everything was under my responsibility and authority and I did that. In any case, Chairman Lee Kun-hee is unable to make decisions, but I think he exercised restraint in the presence of the head of the Future Strategy Office, who was appointed by the chairman and delegated his day-to-day authority.”

(Lee In-yong, President of Samsung Electronics)



He joined Samsung in 1991, so this year is 30 years. In the words of this person, “the company has grown hundreds of thousands of times,” and Samsung has grown from a domestic conglomerate to a global first-class company. It is not known exactly how this person contributed to the company's explosive growth. He led e-Samsung in the early days of joining, and the results were not successful. At this time, there is still a view that criticizes Lee Jae-yong's management ability for failing. It is said that there is no contribution at all, but it is not to be said so vulgarly. In the absence of Chairman Lee Kun-hee, Samsung did not stop growing, and Jae-yong Lee was at the forefront. The abolition of the non-union management policy and communication with civil society, and above all, the decision on the succession of management rights, which was a sanctuary among Samsung's sanctuaries, is something to be evaluated anyway.



My father was still alive, but he was in a state that could not be said to be alive. He had to go back and forth between prosecutors, special prosecutors, and courts frequently, and he was unable to get off the train that went between heaven and hell of arrest and release. Competition with the world's top companies did not allow even a moment of vigilance. No matter how competent professional managers were, the tasks that the owner and professional managers were responsible for were different, and their interests were not always aligned with the professional managers. Even if the system moves, the ultimate responsibility rests on his shoulders. A sleepless night followed. This is a message from a former Samsung Electronics executive who requested anonymity.



"I send text messages from time to time. This person never chews on text messages. No matter how short they are, I always send a reply, but the time I send a text message is often at 2:00, 3:00, and sometimes 4:00 in the morning. Until then, I can't sleep. It means you're sleeping. I've heard that it's my wish to get a good night's sleep."



The person who delivered the memorial service at the funeral of Chairman Lee Kun-hee was Kim Pil-gyu, a high school friend of the deceased, former KPK president.

The selection was made according to the wishes of Mrs. Hong Ra-hee, who wanted the person who knew the deceased best to say goodbye.

Pil-gyu Kim praised Chairman Lee Kun-hee as the only entrepreneur who achieved a fishery club that made the company he received from his predecessors bigger.


“Among my father’s friend’s memorial service, the word ‘seungeobu’ revolved strongly. It was said that surpassing my father is the true meaning of filial piety. It is fundamental to win the competition and grow the company. (…) Creating a company that everyone loves and trusts is what Jaeyong Lee pursues.

(During the final statement of the remand trial)


The way to defeat your father is to do what your father couldn't. Lee Kun-hee was an extraordinary business man and a giant worthy of being recorded in modern history, but he was a person who became smaller when the standards of morality were raised. Washing away the original sin of succession to management is the first step of the Seungeobu. In that sense, this person's efforts since 2016 are in the right direction.



9. Early last month, a letter from an acquaintance was delivered to Lee Jae-yong, who was imprisoned at the Seoul Detention Center. In this 6-page A4 letter, the thoughts of various people, including himself, were summarized on the issue of Lee Jae-yong's amnesty. There was also a story about what the public's eyes would look like if they were released on pardon or parole, and what effects could be expected if they were released after the remainder of their sentence was written. Jaeyong Lee did not respond to this letter.



Seoul Detention Center does not have a central air conditioning system. Prisoners spend the midsummer dependent on a single wall-mounted fan. Compared to a living room where the body of the person next to you is regarded as a ball of fire, it is said that living in a solitary confinement in midsummer is better. If you could afford to go out even if you paid a million dollars, you would want to leave.




This person's 8/15 parole now feels like a set procedure. From the point of view of a person who is imprisoned, parole is not something they want, and it is not something they can endure by not wanting to leave. Before saying yes would think about his parole issues you've gotta have a national interest itself is not impossible.

If the end of preferential fertilization does not expect the inevitable parole or pardon eyes watching this guy is different. There will be fewer people who doubt the authenticity of this man's promise. You will get rid of the image of a model student prince in an instant, and you will be told that he is a good-looking man*, a gamer who is no less than his grandfather and father. It is up to him or her to make that choice. This man, who had endured several days in the detention center because he felt the pain of cutting his intestines but did not want to hear the word “preferential treatment,” was not given much time to choose. This person's sentence is now 9 months and 28 days left.

* Hobu-no-gyeonja (虎父無犬子): The father is a criminal, but the offspring cannot be a dog       

(Photo = Yonhap News)







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