SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- A South Korean lawmaker on Tuesday raised suspicion on U.S. weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin's link to Choi Soon-sil, President Park Geun-hye's confidante who has been indicted on multiple crimes including abuse of power and extortion.
Rep. Ahn Min-seok of the biggest opposition Minjoo Party appeared in a radio program of local broadcaster MBC, saying he received internal information from the military last weekend about a possible link between the president's decades-long friend and the U.S. arms supplier.
Lockheed Martin financially supported the child of a "core figure" in charge of South Korea's security policy when the child was studying abroad several years ago, said Ahn, who didn't elaborate on whether the child was staying in the United States.
The opposition lawmaker raised a possibility for the core figure to introduce Choi to the Lockheed Martin side, saying he will try to find a truth when the National Assembly launches its own investigation into the scandal next month.
Ahn has claimed a collusive link between Choi and the U.S. arms company to peddle undue influence on the South Korean government's weapons procurement contracts.
In an emergency parliamentary session on Nov. 11, Ahn inquired Defense Minister Han Min-koo about whether the defense chief was informed of the contacts of Jeong Yoon-hoe, Choi's ex-husband, with arms lobbyist Linda Kim and the Lockheed Martin side.
Lockheed Martin is a manufacturer of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a U.S. military defense system which South Korea agreed in July with the U.S. to deploy in its soil by the end of next year.
It was a surprising decision given that Seoul had refrained from the issue and seemingly felt uncomfortable with even mentioning it.
Choi had reportedly maintained an acquaintance with the arms lobbyist at least since 2000. The lobbyist has been detained in October for drug-administering charges.
Asking to see Linda Kim at the detention center has recently been banned, said the Minjoo Party lawmaker who described the arms lobbyist as one of "key men" that can tell the truth about the collusive link.
Local media speculated that Choi may have engaged in South Korea's weapons procurement projects as well as the THAAD deployment decision.
Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagles were supposed to be selected as Seoul's next-generation fighter jets in 2013, but the widespread expectation was overturned in September of the year as the defense ministry's arms procurement committee voted it down.
About two months later, Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets were offered as a sole candidate and finally picked to replace South Korea's decrepit combat planes. Park took office in February 2013.