Two former employees of South Korean businessman Tongsun Park have started giving House investigators new details about Park's alleged favors to members of Congress - including direct cash payments - and his ties to the Korean government.
Sources familiar with the investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct said that Jay Shin Ryu, a Park confidant in Washington in the early 1970s, has described how he carried money to be delivered to members of Congress. The names of the members involved could not be learned.
A separate list furnished earlier by Ryu to Justice Department attorneys purports to show payments by Park to more than 20 members of Congress and some executive branch offcials.
Although Park often exaggerated the scope of his contacts in Congress, the House investigators consider the material furnished by Ryu to be important because supporting documents show that Park was making the payments on behalf of the Korean government, the sources said.
The regime of South Korean President Park Chung Hee consistently has denied that Tongsun park had any ties to the Seoul government. A former director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency has testified under oath, however, that $3 million in government funds were used to finance Park's exclusive Georgetown Clun in Washington.
The House committee's investigators also have been questioning a woman described as having been Park's "social secretary" in Seoul for several years.
The woman, identified as Shin Kwang Ja, entered the U.S. illegally earlier this year, sources said, and has volunteered to tell the committee about her pole in buying gifts and arranging dates for visiting American congressmen. She also claims to be able to describe how Park took lobbying instructions from high Korean government officials, the sources said.
In return, he is said to hope to gain permanent residence in the United States.
Shin reportedly flew to Washington from Los Angeles last week for preliminary talks with investigators. She was accompanied by another woman. Jie Sun Park, who recently filed suit against Park.
The suit charges that Park, through his assistant, Ryu, and another man, fraudulently tried to take over her Korean Food Corp., business in California.
The women approached the committee through Rep. Bruce J. Caputo (R-N.Y.) Capulo issued a statement yesterday, in answer to reporters' inquiries, saying only that he had helped them get in touch with committee investigor and that one was providing "new information about Park and his lobbying operation."
He declined to release their names because he "feared for the safety of the witnesses," he said.
Sources said that Shin worked in Park's shippinh company office in Seoul from 1970 to early this year and often made arrangements for visiting congressional delegations.
He claims she was sent out to buy liquor and small gifts for members of the delegation, order new suits for the visitors, set up parties with Korean women and even took wives shopp/!ing, the sources said.
Shin also reportedly said she can tell investigators how closely Park worked with the Blue House - the Korean presidential mansion - in coordinating his hospitality for the visitors.
By 1973 or so, State Department sources have previously told The Washington Post. American embassy officials were so concerned about Parks activities that Ambassador Philip Habib was warning congressmen to stay away from him.
In a related development yesterday, Leon Jaworsky, the former Watergate special prosecutor who is the House Korean committee's new special counsel, told a press conference in Chicago that he expects the panel will make a full public disclosure of his investigator's report on members who accepted cash and gifts from Park and other South Korean government lobbyists.
Jaworksi: said he hopes the report would be ready in a few months. But others close to the investigation said that a timetable that called for public hearings next month was thrown off by the recent resignation of Jaworski's predecessor, Philip A. Lacovara.
It seems more likely now, these sources said, that the House investigators will not be ready to make their recommendations on potential disciplinary cases against members until near the end of the year.
The parallel, but separate criminal investigation by the Justice Department is believed to be likely to produce a few indictment in the near future.