Head of Tear Gas Firm Tops List of Wealthy in S. Korea

Associated Press

A woman who heads a tear-gas company earned more money than anybody else in South Korea last year, the result of a surge in violent protests, tax officials said Saturday.

Han Young Ja, president of Sam Young Chemical Co., earned $7.3 million last year and paid $3.4 million in income tax, the Office of National Tax Administration said in a report to the National Assembly.

Her company holds a monopoly on the production of tear gas.

The officials attributed Han’s high income to frequent demonstrations by radical students, striking factory workers and other anti-government groups.


The nation’s second-highest income earner last year was Cho Joong Hoon, chairman of the Hanjin group, composed of about two dozen subsidiaries including Korean Air, the South Korean flag carrier. Cho reported $6.3 million in personal income, the officials said.