South Korea's foreign minister indicated today that his government would arrange a meeting between Tongsun Park and congressional counsel Leon Jaworski if Jaworski comes here to question the indicted businessman.
The foreign minister, Park Tong Jin, told reporters his government could "recommend" that Tongsun Park meet with Jaworski if the investigation of the lobbying scandal moves to Seoul.
That was taken here to mean that the government would assure Tongsun Park's presence even if the personally objected to being questioned by the House Ethics Committee's counsel.
[Jaworski met for two hours in closed session of the Ethics Committee Wednesday, but refused to answer questions afterward about the possibility of a trip to Seoul. One member of the committee said later that the matter was discussed only in passing.]
[A high-level State Department official said that no formal invitation for a Jaworski trip had been received through diplomatic channels.]
[Meanwhile, Tongsun Park's attorney, William G. Hundley, said he plans to fly to Seoul Friday to confer with his client. Hundley said he talked with Park by phone Wednesday and told him not to talk with any U.S. investigators until he got there.]
The foreign minister's remarks, delivered as he left here for Washington, were regarded as one more move in the government's efforts to solve the dispute over Tongsun Park's testimony without forcibly returning him to the United States.
The government had previously taken a hands-off stance, insisting that the affair concerned only Tongsun Park and the United States and did not involve the South Koreans officially.
The South Korean hope of resolving the impasse by having Jaworski come here was first broached by the foreign minister in a news conference yesterday and in stories in local papers. At the time, there was no indications that the government would play any role in producing the businessman-lobbyist's testimony.
Tongsun Park was indicted by a Washington grand jury on charges of being a South korean agent who conspired with two former Korean Central Intelligence Agency chiefs to influence congressmen to assure continued U.S. aid to South Korea.
There was no indication from government sources what kind of a forum would be fixed for Jaworski to interview Tongsun Park. The businessman has appeared in three sessions with the public prosecutor here.