Former head of the national tax agency appointed to head LH, victim of scandal

Kim Hyun-jun, the new CEO of Korea Land & Housing Corp. (Korea Land & Housing Corp.)

Former National Tax Service Commissioner Kim Hyun-jun has been appointed the new Managing Director of Korea Land & Housing Corp. The post has been vacant since December amid a land speculation scandal involving employees of the state-owned company.

Although Kim has no direct housing or construction experience, the appointment is seen as a government decision to reorganize the state property developer and help him regain public trust.

Several LH employees are currently under investigation for allegedly misusing inside information about development projects for the purpose of real estate speculation.

Born in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Kim majored in business administration at Seoul National University and began his career in the civil service in 1991 after passing the 35th civil service exam.

He served as NTS commissioner from June 2019 to August 2020 and is said to have shown strong leadership in property-related tax affairs and in the implementation of government tax reform plans.

Upon taking office as CEO of LH, Kim is expected to initiate a radical reform of the state-owned company and help the government develop a system for monitoring real estate transactions by employees. A stable supply of new housing is another task that awaits Kim, as the government comes under fire for its “failed” real estate policies.

Earlier this year, several LH employees were accused of using inside information to make speculative land purchases. Many observers have called the scandal a blow to the Moon Jae-in administration’s declared struggle against real estate speculation. LH manages social housing development projects in the country.

The nomination process was completed with the selection of Kim by an internal committee within LH. Then the finance and land ministries will review Kim’s suitability before seeking final approval from the president.

By Jo He-rim ([email protected])

Esther L. Steinbach

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