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Public safety minister nominee steps down over shamanism controversy

Park Seung-joo, the nominee for minister of Public Safety and Security, offered to step down Wednesday amid the escalating controversy over his shamanistic activities and dissertation plagiarism.

"I will step down from the nominee position today. I will go back to work for social activities for children and the youth,” Park said.

“Seeing that Donald Trump was elected the US president, I thought its impact on Korean politics, the economy and society would be huge. I believe that it is necessary for the government and the parliament to promptly cope with the upcoming unpredictable wave,” he said.

He was nominated on Nov. 2 upon the recommendation from Prime Minister nominee Kim Byong-joon.

Suspicion recently rose that Park is involved with shamanistic activities. Local news outlets reported that he had participated in a shamanistic event in the past and that he published a book where he said he had experienced 47 previous lives.

The former Gender Equality Vice Minister also drew criticism for plagiarism in his docterate dissertation in 2004.

By Lee Hyun-jeong(rene@heraldcorp.com

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