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S Korea Justice Minister Cho Kuk resigns amid corruption scandal

Cho made no mention in his statement of the impact of his appointment on Moon’s popularity ratings, which have dropped to their lowest level since he took office in 2017.

SNS | New Delhi |

South Korean Justice Minister Cho Kuk has quit from his position on Monday, slightly over a month after his appointment — amid a corruption scandal involving his family.

President Moon Jae-in appointed the 54-year-old Cho on early in September with the task of reforming the prosecutor’s office, a body that wields enormous power and influence in the country and has played a critical role in several cases of corruption, Efe news reported.

The public backlash started mounting after the prosecution, whose reform Cho had been advocating, opened a corruption probe into his family. The minister’s wife, in particular, is suspected of soliciting their daughter’s admission to a medical school and being involved in a dubious investment scheme.

“I’m stepping down as justice minister today…I felt apologetic to the people regarding the ongoing probes of my family but put in my best each day as Justice Minister to reform the prosecution. But now my role has come to an end,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Cho as saying in a statement.

The Minister and other members of his family were also being investigated for investing heavily in an equity fund which could have benefited from his political influence when he was a presidential aide.

Cho made no mention in his statement of the impact of his appointment on Moon’s popularity ratings, which have dropped to their lowest level since he took office in 2017.

According to ANI reports, over the past weeks, Seoul has been rocked by mass rallies demanding the minister’s resignation.

Earlier, Cho had served as Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs. His appointment as minister, despite the corruption allegations, was met with criticism and is believed to be among the reasons for President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating dropping to 41.4 percent, the lowest mark since he took office in May 2017.