By Ko Dong-hwan
The U.S. government has requested Korea's Ministry of Justice to arrest former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's brother on charges of bribery.
The ministry is in talks with the U.S. government regarding Ban's younger brother Ban Ki-sang and his son Bahn Joo-hyun, who were indicted in New York in October.
The suspects are accused of attempting to hand over some $500,000 to an unidentified official from the Middle East while trying to sell a building owned by Korean construction firm Keongnam Enterprises in Vietnam. The money, however, is known to have been spent by a middleman named Malcolm Harris before reaching the official.
An official said that though official discussions have not begun, the two countries are "exchanging views on the matter" and "checking relevant laws."
"Though we have no knowledge of the case, if the judicial authorities of South Korea and the U.S. are going through a consultation as reported, we hope the procedures to be carried out strictly and transparently to address suspicions people have without leaving any doubts," the official said, according to Yonhap news agency.
Ban's aide released a statement following the report, apologizing for causing concerns with matters related to relatives of the second in presidential opinion polls.