Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

South Korea's No. 2 government official to stay on after other nominees pull out

In this Wednesday, June 25, 2014 photo, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won arrives to attend a ceremony to mark the 64th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has decided to retain the country's current prime minister after two possible replacements for the job both abandoned their nominations because of questions over past behavior. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Enlarge Image

In this Wednesday, June 25, 2014 photo, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won arrives to attend a ceremony to mark the 64th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has decided to retain the country's current prime minister after two possible replacements for the job both abandoned their nominations because of questions over past behavior. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's president has decided to retain the country's current prime minister — who holds the No. 2 spot in the government — after two possible replacements for the job both abandoned their nominations because of questions over past behaviour, officials said Thursday.

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won had offered to step down after April's ferry disaster as a way to assuage enormous public anger over the tragedy, which left more than 300 people dead or missing. President Park Geun-hye tried to replace him and reshuffle other Cabinet officials to try to win back public trust.

But her two subsequent choices for prime minister withdrew their names even before their confirmation hearings began — one on Tuesday amid criticism over his past comments that allegedly supported Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea and the other last month over alleged ethical lapses.

The two consecutive withdrawals dealt a blow to Park, whose approval rating has plummeted after the disaster.

On Thursday, senior presidential official Yoon Doo-hyun said in a televised briefing that Park has now rejected Chung's resignation offer and asked him to stay on to prevent a further vacuum in state management. Chung said he agreed, and that he would strive to help Park press ahead with reform measures promised after the sinking.

South Korea's executive power is concentrated in the president but the prime minister leads the country if the president becomes incapacitated. A person nominated for the job must be approved by the National Assembly.

It's not clear whether Chung's retaining would help Park facing mounting political offensive by her rivals. The main liberal opposition party on Thursday criticized Park's decision, calling it an acknowledgement of her government's incompetence.

Some of Park's choices for other Cabinet ministers have already faced snowballing criticism over their past behaviours such as alleged plagiarism of research papers. They are required to undergo parliamentary hearings, although their appointments don't need legislative endorsements.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media