This is the inside story of how Chung Yoo-ra was captured in Aalborg, Denmark. An enterprising TV reporter from South Korea drove all night and tracked Chung down in a rented house in northern Denmark. Inside, he found Chung, her 19-month old baby, 2 horse caretakers, a nanny, 3 dogs and 9 cats. It was quite an entourage. What’s sad about this story is that Chung and her adult enablers became fugitives because this is the only way they knew how to behave. It may seem improbable and ludicrous for a single mom to be on the run with her toddler, adult hangers-on and 12 furry animals. However, this is completely rational from the viewpoint of Chung, who never had to face consequences and always got her way while being raised in South Korea.
The daughter of a woman described by Western newspapers as a Rasputin-like figure, Choi Soon-sil, has been taken into custody in Aalborg, Denmark. Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra (20), had been on the run since a red alert notice was issued for her by Interpol in December. She is wanted by South Korea’s special prosecutor examining corruption charges against her mom and President Park Geun-Hye. It was expected that Chung would be found sooner or later. However, the manner in which she was found on January 1st was more startling than anything else. Most foreign presses have missed the circumstances surrounding her capture since it was an enterprising Korean reporter who did his own sleuth work to track Chung down.
4 out of the 9 cats found - most are ragdoll kittens & cats Chung liked to raise. Plenty of cat chow and litter boxes here. Link to YT source.
Chung was found with her entourage, which was no ordinary entourage indeed. It included her 19-month old son. Remember, Chung is a single mom who became pregnant by her boyfriend, Shin Joo-Pyung, while in high school. After giving birth in Cheju, the couple and their baby moved to Frankfurt, Germany where Chung has a house and trains competitively for equestrian events. They separated around April 2016. Chung often said in interviews that she had secretly married Shin but most Korean outlets believe they did not exchange official vows and were merely shacking it up. As they were not legal couples, no divorce was necessary to separate either.
The entourage also included a 66-year old nanny who used to work in Choi’s household back in South Korea. She was apparently sent by Choi to take care of her grandson. Then there are two “horsemen,” both in their mid twenties, who take care of Chung’s horses and help her train for equestrian competitions in Europe. Their official role is being horse caretakers but given the large size of her entourage, the 2 probably spent considerable time doing another chore, as we shall find out. It is widely believed that the 3 adults were under orders from Choi to be of service to her daughter and grandson, while Chung eludes authorities in Germany.
Chung was tracked down by Lee Ga-Hyuk, a reporter for South Korea’s JTBC TV station — this is the same TV station which broke the Choi gate back in October by discovering her tablet PC. Often, South Korea’s news outlets do their own detective work. They tend to be rather proactive when it comes to sleuthing and do not need any encouragement to poke around. They often trespass on private property and go through garbage cans to pursue leads. Like Lee, some even travel the globe hunting for breaking news. It can get pretty fierce competing for the latest scoop on one of the most followed news stories in Korean history — the Choi Soon-sil gate. Reporters from virtually all of South Korea’s major TV stations are in Aalborg right now, including JTBC, SBS, TV Chosun and Chanel A.
Lee Ga-Hyuk drove all night from Frankfurt to Aalborg. Being a JTBC reporter means poking around to track down an international fugitive.
'Jtbc 이가혁 기자 대박 한건'
-직접 정유라, 덴마크 경찰에 신고
— 바보사랑 0825 (@princelystar) January 2, 2017
Lee was originally sent to Frankfurt to track Chung down. Upon arrival, Lee saw no sign of Chung. But he quickly learned that one of her horses is being kept at an equestrian complex near Aalborg. Thus, he drove 950 kilometers north, leaving in the afternoon and arriving 12 hours later at 4 in the morning. When Lee approached the house being rented by Chung and her entourage, the nanny who was carrying the 19-month old ran inside, locked the door and started covering windows with sheets. When she did, however, one of Chung’s cats jumped on the windowsill to check out what all the hubbub is about. The video below was shot by SBS, another TV station that sent its reporter to Aalborg upon realizing that JBTC had scooped them and found Chung.
One of Chung's 9 cats sprang on the windowsill. Link to YT source.
That was not the only feline Chung had in possession. There were 12 furry animals in total: 3 dogs and 9 cats. 6 cats were being housed in a shed adjacent to the house. Inside the house, there were 3 dogs that barked loudly and 3 other cats. Lee witnessed dog and cat droppings that were not being picked up inside the house.
How did Lee zero in on the house? Lee checked that the VW van parked in front of the house fits the description of a similar van registered to K-Sports in Frankfurt. K-Sports is one of the 2 foundation established by Choi to collect donations from South Korean corporations. Choi then sent the funds to holding companies and bank accounts in Europe to launder them for her family’s use. Lee even recognized that the van had a German vanity plate: “DIL-CS15.” “CS” stands for Choi Soon-sil.
Upon seeing the nanny behaving suspiciously, Lee called Danish police to report that an international fugitive wanted by Interpol may have been found. When Danish police arrived, Chung apparently tried to hide in a closet, according to Chanel A.
The 12 furry animals found in Aalborg are not all of the pets Chung was raising before she went on the run. In Frankfurt, she was supposedly living with about 29 pets in total, including some 15 dogs, many of which were large breeds. In fact, she restructured her house in Frankfurt to turn it into a pet colony. All 15 of her dogs being raised in Frankfurt originally came from South Korea. They were transported through custom-fit dog carriages at a cost estimated at $50,000. A Korean expatriate in Germany was approached by someone from Chung’s entourage 2 months ago to see if he was interested in raising several large dog breeds.
Chung swarmed by Korean reporters within hours of her capture by Danish police in Aalborg.
Here, we must remember that Chung is just 20 years old. She is a young adult who isn’t quite capable of making decisions about her welfare. Her upbringing did not train her to take responsibility for her actions. The 3 older adults accompanying her are on Choi’s payroll so they would not put the brakes on this fiasco. The 12 furry animals are probably Chung’s favorite dogs and cats that she could not do without: she reportedly abandoned her remaining pets, estimated anywhere from 10 to 17, in Frankfurt.
If you have followed the scandal since last October, this is really a tragicomedy. But this drama has some human (as well as feline and canine) dimensions — Chung is a victim of her circumstances. She may have been well provided for but did not receive the discipline and emotional support necessary for her to mature into an adult. The end result is what the world witnessed on the first of the new year — improbable and ludicrous but completely rational from the viewpoint of Chung, who could do no wrong, was never told no, and always got her way. It’s no surprise that she tried to get away.