On television, they might call the story "Seoul: Behind Closed Doors."
There will be secret agents and double agents, a secretive president distributing laundered money, lavish parties bribery, and perhaps some sex, all tied to a complicated plot that spans two worlds.
But the newest saga of Washington corruption will come to you this week not from Hollywood but from Capitol Hill, produced by Leon Jaworski and the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
On Wednesday afternoon the committee will open its first public hearings on the South Korean influence-buying scandal. According to committee members, the sessions will feature a parade of witnesses - including former agents of South Korea's CIA - telling an astounding story: how a beleaguered Asian nation set out to buy friends and votes in the U.S. Congress.
Anyone who has read all the news stories about the Korean affair will probably learn nothing new from the House hearings. But for most Americans, the sessions will provide the first comprehensive description of the multifarious Korean efforts to win friends and influence people in Washington.
The most important revelation from the hearings, committee sources say, will be evidence clearly linking the government of President Park Chung Hce to the activities of Washington businessmen Tongsun Park and Hancho Kim, who have been indicted for conspiracy to bribe members of Congress.
The embassy here has denied every allegation of a link between the two and the Seoul government. But a member of the House committee said, "When our hearings are finished, any reasonable observer will be sure that they were agents of the government."
The hearings will also provide the first insight into the work of the House investigators during their 10-month probe. The sessions may begin to answer a question that has followed the committee since it look up the Korean matter: Can Congress be trusted to investigate itself?
Jaworski, the former Watergate special prosecutor who is directing the House probe, has declined to discuss this week's hearings in advance. He has yet to release a witness list, and he won't even say how many days of hearings there will be.
Once the sessions open, however, publicity will be a paramount concern. The committee has reserved the huge Cannon Building Caucus Room to provide space for a host of reporters, and is working with the Public Broadcasting System on plans for live coverage.
(In the Washington area, WETA-TV. Channel 26, plans full coverage of the hearings.)
Publicity, in fact, is one of the chief reasons for the hearings, according to committee members. Jaworski wants to let the public know that the investigation has made progress, despite repeated charges of foot-dragging.
The committee hopes as well to shock the American people with its description of South Korea's brazen effort to influence Congress illegally. If the public is aroused, the committee believes, the South Korean government will feel increased pressure to cooperate with the several U.S. investigations.
Committee members say the scenario set forth at this week's hearings will be shocking to all but the most cynical Americans.
The story the witnesses are expected to tell will open in Seoul in the late 1960s, at a time when President Park was increasingly concerned about the depth of the American commitment to support and defend South Korea.
With American forces stepping up the fighting in Vietnam. Park's Pentagon suppliers were sending him second-hand military equipment, witnesses will say. He feared that tha Vietnam struggle would sour the American people on then other Asian allies. He knew that his repressive tactics at home would make it harder for American leaders to support his government.
President Park knew, in short, that he would have to do something to maintain South Korea's popularity in the U.S. Congress. But what to do?
The answer, which witnesses will say was devised by Park and his Central Intelligence Agency, was a broad effort to buy congressional friends - with parties, pretty girls, free trips academic honors, gifts and, sometimes, outright bribes.
Such an effort would be expensive, but the hearings will show that Korea found an ingenious solution to that it would take foreign aid money voted by Congress and funnel it right back to indivdual congressmen.
One key funnel, witnesses will say, was Tongsun Park. He was named an agent for Korean rice purchases in the United States, earning large commissions that were funded in part by U.S. Food-for-Peace grants.
The witnesses are also expected to name other Koreans operating here who passed gifts and money to members of Congress. The hearings will show that, in some cases, these efforts were directed and funded from the South Korean embassy here.
All this will emerge from the recollections of about a dozen witnesses including several Koreans claiming first-hand knowledge, according to committee sources.
What will not emerge from this week's hearings will be revelations of the misdeeds of any individual members of Congress. Committee members say the investigation still has considerable work to do in tracking the involvement of House members.
That has prompted questions about what the investigators have been doing since they began work last winter.
One thing they have done is squabble. They have been disputes among the committee members, and frosty relations between the committe's crusty chairman, John J. Flynt Jr. (D-Ga.), and the investigative staff.
The probe had just gotten into gear last summer when the chief investigator Philip Lacovara, quit in a huff after a row with Flynt. Jaworski took over, but time was lost while he and his chief aide. Peter White, read up on the case. To delay things further, both Jaworski and White had to wait weeks for security clearances needed to review intelligence files.
Committee staffers say they have been diligently pursuing every lead concerning members of Congress. They point to a recent subpoena of the rent records of Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) as proof. But other allegations the committee has received concerning alleged O'Neill real estate deal's apparently have not been pursued to date.