That’s what Jeong Joon-gil, NFP’s press officer, told Geum Tae-seop, a confidant of Ahn Cheol-soo.
Geum held a press conference on September 6, in which he said Jeong called him to say two (false) allegations about Ahn: that Ahn paid a bribe to the Industrial Bank of Korea in 1999, and that Ahn was having an affair with a woman in her 30s until very recently. According to Geum, Jeong said: “We investigated and we know everything. We are going to expose these, so if he runs, he will be dead.” Jeong then apparently told Geum to have Ahn not run for presidency.
Jeong, for his part, said in his own press conference that he had been friends with Geum for over 20 years, and one morning it simply occurred to him that he should advise his friend about the rumors about Ahn that should be prepared for. Geum immediately retorted that he and Jeong had not spoken for more than a year, and the tone of the message was a serious threat, not friendly banter. Jeong, since then, offered to resign from his post at the NFP.
There in fact was a bribery scandal in 1999 involving IBK and several companies, for which an IBK official Gang Seong-sam went to prison because he received bribes from companies in which IBK planned to invest. But Gang said in an interview that there was no reason for Ahn to bribe IBK, because it was IBK that was asking to invest in Ahn’s company at the time. Jeong Joon-gil, in fact, was the lead prosecutor that investigated the bribery scandal, and his team chose not to investigate Ahn at the time.