Annan aide admits ties to indicted Koreagate figure


Maurice Strong, a senior United Nations official from Canada, according to the New York Sun, acknowledged contacts with Tongsun Park, the mysterious figure indicted in the Oil—for—Food scandal, which neatly fit the timetable announced. He is an oilman who became an environmentalist, and is one of the architects of the Kyoto Treaty. And, he apparently has contributed to both Democrat and Republican candidates, something illegal for non—citizens. The Sun writes that he

...yesterday acknowledged that since at least 1997 he has had business and other dealings with Tongsun Park, the Korean influence—peddler who was identified in a federal criminal complaint last week as an unregistered Iraqi agent targeting U.N. officials for bribery.

Maurice Strong was a special adviser to Mr. Annan in 1997, the year Mr. Park made an investment in a company the Canadian tycoon was associated with. Mr. Strong worked as special envoy for U.N. reform in an office located directly across the corridor from the secretary—general on the 38th floor of the U.N. building....

Mr. Strong, who has maintained close relations with the secretary—general and has had business ties with Mr. Annan's son, Kojo, does admit, however, to having had relations that fit neatly with the timeline and the circumstances described in the complaint against Mr. Park.

"In 1997, Mr. Park invested on a normal commercial basis in an energy company with which I was associated that had no relationship with Iraq," Mr. Strong said in his statement. "I have continued to maintain a relationship with Mr. Park. Indeed, as a native of North Korea he has advised me on North Korean issues in my role as U.N. envoy."[....]

Mr. Strong's ties to Mr. Annan and several of his predecessors at the helm of the U.N. go a long way back — to the 1970s under U Thant. He also has close relations with public figures in his native Canada, in Washington, and around the world. He is also a man of contradictions, having made his personal fortune in the petroleum business while at the same time gaining star status in the environmental movement. As the chairman of the U.N.—sponsored Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Strong was one of the architects of the Kyoto treaty. [emphasis added]

In America, Mr. Strong has been a generous donor to both Democratic and Republican candidates. Asked why he contributed to both parties in the 1988 elections, he said, according to a quote in Saturday Night Magazine, "Because I wanted influence in the United States." [emphasis added]

Has Mr. Strong, the influential Canadian, become an American citizen? If not, how can he legally donate to American candidates?

Things are getting interesting.

Ed Lasky  4 19 05