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Justice Minister Cho Kuk offers to resign

All Headlines 14:04 October 14, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who was widely seen as the key man to push ahead with the president's prosecution reform drive, announced his resignation on Monday.

"I was mere 'kindling' for reforming the prosecution. My role as 'kindling' has come to an end," Cho said in a statement.

The surprise announcement comes roughly a month after Cho, who previously served as a senior presidential aide for civil affairs, was appointed justice minister.

Justice Minister Cho Kuk announces prosecution reform measures at the Gwacheon Government Complex in southern Seoul on Oct. 14, 2019. (Yonhap)

Just a few hours earlier, Cho held his second-ever press briefing as a justice minister on measures to reform the prosecution.

Cho mentioned the ongoing probes over corruption allegations involving his family.

"I felt apologetic to the people regarding ongoing probes over 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," he said.

"Now I hope to put everything down and take care of my family, who are going through the toughest and most painful time of their lives."

Cho's family, including his wife, daughter and son, have been questioned by the prosecution several times regarding suspicions over the family's private equity investment and college admission.

A court procedure involving his wife, a university professor surnamed Chung, was scheduled to start Friday.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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