외신이 나경원 자유한국당 원내대표를 두고 벌어진 아들 특혜 의혹에 주목하는 기사를 보도해 눈길을 끌고 있다.
프랑스 최대통신사 AFP는 18일 ‘한국 교육 스캔들에 야당 지도자와 예일대에 재학 중인 아들이 휘말렸다’는 제목의 기사를 보도했다.
AFP는 이 기사를 통해 “새 법무부 장관 임명을 위협한 한국의 교육 특권에 대한 스캔들이 예일대학교에 재학 중인 아들을 가진 야당 원내대표를 삼키기 위해 확산되고 있다”며 나 원내대표 아들 김모씨의 의공학 포스트 제1저자 논란을 자세히 전했다.
또 이 매체는 해당 논문을 지도한 윤형진 서울대학교 교수가 KBS와 가진 인터뷰를 인용해 “이 논문은 고교생이 이해할 수 있는 수준을 넘어섰다. 그(김씨)는 자신이 무엇을
하고 있는지 이해하지 못한 게 분명하지만 우리는 그에게 아이디어를 줬다”는 내용을 실었다.
이어 나 원내대표와 조국 법무부 장관의 자녀 논란을 비교하기도 했다.
다음은 AFP통신 원문이다.
S. Korea education row embroils opposition leader with son at Yale
A scandal over educational privilege in South Korea that threatened to derail the new justice minister's appointment has spread to engulf the opposition's parliamentary leader, whose son is a student at Yale.
The world's 11th largest economy is an intensely competitive society where teenage students are under tremendous pressure to win admission into elite universities.
Success can lead to lifelong advantages in employment, society and even marriage, and any hint of manipulation of the process by wealthy or influential parents outrages ordinary South Koreans.
Prosecutors in Seoul said Wednesday they had opened a probe into allegations that Na Kyung-won, the parliamentary floor leader of the opposition Liberty Korea party, pressured a Seoul National University professor to accept her son as an intern.
The teenager was later named the lead author of a medical paper that won him first prize in a US scientific competition -- "Research on the Feasibility of Cardiac Output Estimation Using Photoplethysmogram and Ballistocardiogram" -- and he subsequently secured a place at Yale to study chemistry.
But his supervisor Yoon Hyung-jin told broadcaster KBS that the paper was "beyond the level that a high schooler could have comprehended".
"It's clear he had not understood what he was doing," he said. "But we gave him ideas."
The allegations directly parallel the accusations against Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who barely survived confirmation scrutiny this month when it was revealed his daughter was named lead author of a medical paper during her high school years, helped by her family connections.
Na -- who was a classmate of Cho at Seoul National University, where they studied law in the early 1980s -- had herself been one of the new justice minister's fiercest critics, accusing him of ensuring his daughter's resume was "riddled with lies".
Na maintains her son is solely responsible for the paper and has denied foul play.
Score-settling is ingrained in the country's winner-takes-all political system, with every one of the country's living former presidents either currently in prison or convicted of crimes after leaving office.