Hyundai chief jumps to death out of window


Chung Mong-hun, South Korean carmaker Hyundai's top executive, committed suicide by jumping from his 12th floor office today, police said.

He was a son of Chung Ju-young, the late founder of the giant Hyundai conglomerate, and led Hyundai-Asan, a Hyundai subsidiary that runs a series of joint ventures with communist North Korea.

Chung was on trial on charges stemming from allegations that his company helped former President Kim Dae-jung's government secretly pay North Korea $65 million to get Pyongyang to agree to the historic summit.

Earlier this year, Chung was indicted on charges of doctoring company books to hide the money transfers.

So far eight former government officials and Hyundai officials have been indicted in the case. If convicted, some could face up to five years in prison.