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Park calls for efforts to root out corruption

All News 11:43 January 26, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday renewed the government's commitment to combating corruption ahead of parliamentary elections.

"It is important to eradicate corruption and illegalities and establish stern law and order as we have parliamentary elections this year," Park said in a meeting where she was receiving an annual policy report from the Justice Ministry and several other ministries.

South Koreans are scheduled to go to the polls in April to elect new lawmakers. In the past, elections have marred by corruption.

The comments came two weeks after the government announced a set of anti-corruption measures to preemptively root out corruption.

South Korea has been hit by a series of corruption scandals, including those in the state arms procurement agency, in recent years.

Last year, Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo quit his job over allegations that he received 30 million won (US$27,000) from a businessman when he was running for a parliamentary seat in 2013.

South Korea climbed three notches in international corruption awareness to 43 out of 175 countries in 2014, according to a global anti-corruption watchdog.

The Berlin-based Transparency International said that South Korea scored 55 out of 100 in its 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, with high scores meaning low corruption.

Park also instructed officials to root out domestic violence and crimes against vulnerable people, citing a series of child abuse incidents.

Earlier this month, police arrested a couple over the death of their seven-year-old son in 2012. The father, 34, is accused of cutting the body into parts and wrapping them in plastic bags before putting them in a refrigerator in his home.


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