The Korean Central Intelligence Agency delivered $3,000 in cash to the chief aide of Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1976, according to congressional testimony yesterday.
It was the first evidence that an official of the Unification Church received money from the KCIA. The House international organizations subcommittee has been investigating alleged ties between the church and the Korean government.
Bo Hi Pak, interpreter for the Korean evangelist, acknowledged during a hearing yesterday that he had received the money in $100 bills from Sang Keun Kim, a KCIA agent who sought asylum in the United States in late 1976.
But he said he took the cash only as a favor to Yang Doo Won, a high-ranking KCIA official in Seoul.
Pak said that on a later trip to Korea, he passed the money on to a member of the Unification Church from Japan. The Korean government wanted to reimburse the woman for expense incurred on an anti-communist speaking tour in Korea, he said.
Pak could not explain why the KCIA, rather than another government agency, would handle the reimbursement.
Subcommittee sources said later that they did not find Pak's explanation convincing.
Meanwhile, accused Korean agent Tongsun Park appeared for the first time before a federal grand injury in Washington yesterday.
His questioning focused on his relations with former Rep. Otto E. Passman (D-La.), sources said. This raises the possibility that the Justice Department is near a decision on seeking an indictment against the long-time chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee with control of the foreign aid budget.
Park is reported to have told prosecutors that he gave Passman more than $200,000 over the years to obtain his support for increased shipments of food for Peace rice to South Korea. Passman has denied the allegations.
Park received about $9 million in commissions on rice sales from 1970 to 1975.
Pak's appearance before the House subcommittee yesterday was forced under a federal court order, according to Rep. Edward Derwinski (R-Ill.) the ranking minority member of the subcommittee.
Pak, 47, had cited First and Fifth Amendment protections in refusing an earlier subcommittee attempt to gain his testimony. But a U.S. District Court judge recently signed a "use immunity" order, which forces testimony, sources said.
His appearance opened with the reading of a 50-page statement criticising the subcommittee and press for maligning the church. He closed by reciting The Lord's Prayer. His entire testimony was recorded on video and audio tape for the Unification Church.
The articulate 47-year-old former Korean army colonel said he regretted accepting the money from the KCIA because he feared his explanation might be distorted.
Pak said he presumed the money