11:06 GMT +320 September 2019
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    People take part in a rally calling for President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, November 12, 2016.

    South Korea's Justice Chief Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

    © REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji
    Asia & Pacific
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    South Korea's President Park Geun-hye has accepted the resignation of Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong, while senior presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs Choi Jai-kyeong has kept his position amid an unraveling corruption scandal, local media reported Monday, citing the justice ministry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The justice minister and senior aide, who assisted the president in law enforcement affairs, offered to resign last week amid the influence-peddling scandal.

    The justice ministry said it would hold a ceremony to mark Kim's departure on Tuesday. Vice Minister Kim Hyun-Woong will assume responsibility until a successor is chosen, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    On October 24, media reported that Park's friend Choi Soon-sil allegedly received drafts of the president’s speeches before they were publicly delivered, though she had never held a public post. The following day, Park officially admitted asking Choi for advice on speeches and public relations issues. Choi is also accused of using her ties with Park to extract millions of dollars in donations from big companies into two non-profit foundations she controlled.

    The situation had already cause large-scale protests demanding Park to resign. On November 20, the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office filed formal charges against Choi and two of Park's former aides and stated that Park was suspected of being an accomplice in the conspiracy. The South Korean parliament is expected to discuss the president's impeachment in the beginning of December. The presidential office has declared the investigation to be politically biased.

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