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South Korea’s Justice Minister resigns amid scandal

Pro-government supporters hold signs with pictures of Justice Minister Cho Kuk, before a rally supporting Cho in front of Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Photo Credit: The Washington Post

South Korea’s recently appointed justice minister, Cho Kuk resigned on Monday saying the scandal swirling around his family had become a political burden for President Moon Jae-in’s government.

Since his appointment on Sept.9, there have been street protests against Cho, due to investigations mounted by prosecutors into his family’s financial investments and the university admissions of his children.

Huge crowds of Cho’s supporters and critics have marched in South Korea’s capital in recent weeks, demonstrating how the months-long saga over Cho has deepened the country’s political divide. The protesters demanded for the immediate resignation of the Justice Minister and the impeachment of the president.

“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 completed,” he added.

Yonhap news agency reported that Cho’s wife and two children had been questioned by prosecutors several times.

On Friday, Yonhap said a “court procedure” involving Cho’s wife, a university professor with the family name Chung, was scheduled to start

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