Culture Minister Resigns After Arrest

  • By Jung Nok-yong

    January 23, 2017 11:42

    Acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn on Saturday accepted the resignation of Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Cho Yoon-sun, who has become the first Cabinet member to be arrested while in office. Cho was arrested earlier the same day along with former presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon.

    Cho is accused of aiding and abetting the compilation of a blacklist of artists and entertainers whom Cheong Wa Dae considered "hostile" to the government. She told family members who visited her in prison over the weekend that she wanted to resign.

    "I believe the resignation was accepted swiftly to minimize a business vacuum," a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said. Vice Culture Minister Song Soo-keun will head the ministry until a replacement is found.

    Former Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Cho Yoon-sun appears for a questioning by the independent counsel in Seoul on Sunday.

    Although the Prime Minister's Office is declining to comment on a nominee, critics believe it will be tough to find any candidate willing to join a lame-duck caretaker government as President Park Geun-hye awaits a decision on her impeachment.

    The Justice Ministry is also being led by an acting head.

    Meanwhile, Hwang gave a press conference on Monday to explain the government's plans and key objectives. He vowed to try to establish ties with the new government in Washington.

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