The justice minister and a presidential aide offered to resign earlier this week after President Park Geun-hye was implicated as an accomplice in a high-profile corruption scandal involving her confidante, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.
Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong and Choi Jai-kyeong, senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, tendered their resignations after the prosecution claimed Sunday that Park was complicit in wrongdoings involving her friend Choi Soon-sil and key former aides. Kim had offered to resign on Monday.
Park has yet to decide whether to accept their resignations, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong (left) and senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Choi Jai-kyeong (Yonhap)
The minister said, "It is right for me to step down under these circumstances."
Observers said the minister, who leads the prosecution, might have felt unnerved by prosecutors' interim investigation results that listed the president as a "suspect" in the scandal.
The presidential office has strongly denounced the results, saying they were politically biased and a mixture of "immagination and conjectures.
Park now faces an independent counsel probe into the scandal, through which the presidential office vowed to clear what it calls unfounded allegations against her. The counsel, to be recommended by the opposition parties, is expected to begin the investigation next month for a period of up to four months. (Yonhap)