Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Yoon Jin-sook (Yonhap)
President Park Geun-hye on Thursday sacked Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Yoon Jin-sook over her controversial conduct in dealing with the oil spill in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won hinted that Yoon might be dismissed. “I think it is deeply regretful that such a thing has happened despite the president’s recent warning, and the dismissal request is being carefully considered,” Chung told lawmakers at Thursday’s interpellation session.
The dismissal came after Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok had made similarly controversial remarks regarding the recent data breach at three credit card companies. President Park Geun-hye warned officials that making such comments “hurt the people.”
Following the accident that leaked large quantities of crude oil in the sea along the southern city’s coastline, Yoon drew fire from all sides for her questionable comments and actions.
While inspecting the accident site, Yoon was seen holding her nose to avoid smelling the spill and made controversial comments including one in which she called GS Caltex, the facility from which the oil leaked, a victim.
The main opposition Democratic Party has since called for her dismissal.
When nominating Yoon for her current post, the president compared the minister to a pearl buried in the sand to highlight her capableness.
By Choi He-suk