Embattled S.Korea justice minister resigns amid protests
October 14 2019 06:43 PM
Cho Kuk attends a hearing at the national assembly in Seoul, South Korea
Cho Kuk attends a hearing at the national assembly in Seoul, South Korea


South Korean Justice Minister Cho Kuk, mired in a corruption scandal involving his family, resigned on Monday after just over a month on the job, saying his appointment had become a political burden for the government.
Cho was appointed by President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 9 to lead a reform of the prosecutors' office, which legal critics say has long been susceptible to political pressure.
His appointment came as prosecutors were investigating his family's financial investments and the university admissions of his children, which fuelled protests against Cho.
"I decided I must not burden the President and the government with my family's affairs anymore," Cho said in a statement announcing his resignation.
"I believe that now is the time for me to step down so that reforming the prosecutor's office will be successfully completed," he added.
Cho's decision to step down was his own, Moon's chief political advisor Kang Gi-jung told reporters.
The controversy over Cho, as well as public discontent over a sluggish economy and stalled diplomatic efforts with North Korea, have pushed Moon's approval ratings to fresh lows.
In its latest survey, pollster Realmeter said 41.4% approved of Moon's performance, the lowest since he took office in 2017.
The survey of 2,502 people conducted last week found 56.1% disapproved of his performance, up from 52.3% in the first week of October, the pollster said on Monday.
Cho had attended a news conference earlier on Monday where he released details of proposed reforms to the prosecutor's office, such as closing some powerful investigative units accused by critics of operating without proper oversight. 

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