South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of ex-minister’s wife

South Korean Justice Minister Cho Kuk, center, leaves the Gwacheon Government Complex in Gwacheon, South Korea, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Cho on Monday offered to step down amid an investigation into allegations of financial crimes and academic favors surrounding his family, a scandal that has rocked Seoul’s liberal government and deeply polarized national opinion. (Ryu Hyung-suck/Yonhap via AP)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Prosecutors said Monday they are seeking to arrest the wife of South Korea’s former justice minister, who resigned last week amid allegations of financial crimes and academic fraud surrounding his family that sparked huge protests and dented the popularity of President Moon Jae-in.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said it requested an arrest warrant for Chung Kyung-shim over her suspected involvement in dubious private equity investments, attempts to destroy evidence, and creating fake credentials to help her daughter get into medical school.

Officials from a Seoul court that’s reviewing the request didn’t immediately return calls.

Chung and her husband Cho Kuk have denied legal wrongdoing, although Cho has apologized over alleged perks his daughter received when entering a top university in Seoul and a medical school in Busan.

The former justice minister, who for years built a reputation as an anti-elitist and reformist, said last week he was stepping down to reduce the political burden of Moon, whose approval ratings have dipped.

Cho’s resignation came after huge crowds of his supporters and critics marched in South Korea’s capital for weeks, demonstrating how the months-long saga has further polarized a nation already grappling with deep divides along political, regional and generational lines.

Moon’s liberal Minjoo Party and pro-Cho protesters, who have continued their rallies despite his resignation, have accused prosecutors of pushing an excessive investigation out of resistance to Cho’s reform plans, which included curbing prosecutors’ powers, which critics say are excessive.

But the controversy surrounding Cho has struck a nerve in a country that’s struggling to tackle worsening inequality and brutally competitive school environments and has tarnished the image of Moon, who vowed to restore faith in fairness and justice after replacing conservative President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached and jailed for corruption.

Recent polls suggest Moon’s approval ratings are at the lowest level since he took office in May 2017, an alarming development for the ruling liberals ahead of parliamentary elections in April.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Bottineau Memorial Day Flags

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bottineau Memorial Day Flags"

N.D. Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "N.D. Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day"

Memorial Day Family Tradition

Thumbnail for the video titled "Memorial Day Family Tradition"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader"

Fishing Memorial Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fishing Memorial Day"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast on Memorial Day 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast on Memorial Day 2020"

Robert Suhr KX News 6:20am Forecast 5-25-20

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert Suhr KX News 6:20am Forecast 5-25-20"

Robert One Minute 5-25

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert One Minute 5-25"

Tips and Tricks: Make your own bubble bath!

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tips and Tricks: Make your own bubble bath!"

Bismarck Graduates

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bismarck Graduates"

Parents react to graduation

Thumbnail for the video titled "Parents react to graduation"

Robert One Minute 5-24

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert One Minute 5-24"

State Lab Equipment Malfunction

Thumbnail for the video titled "State Lab Equipment Malfunction"

Bottineau Track

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bottineau Track"

Watford City Summer School

Thumbnail for the video titled "Watford City Summer School"

Minot Gated Community

Thumbnail for the video titled "Minot Gated Community"

Barricaded Subject in Bismarck

Thumbnail for the video titled "Barricaded Subject in Bismarck"

COVID-19 Case Report Update 5-24

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Case Report Update 5-24"

Spring golf championship

Thumbnail for the video titled "Spring golf championship"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge