Allegations of wrongdoing by officials on the inspection team, which is under the authority of the office of the civil affairs secretary, surfaced earlier this week.
|Senior Secretar for Civil Affairs Cho Kuk. Yonhap|
In one case, an official from the team allegedly attempted to gain information about a police investigation into corruption involving civil servants. It has also been alleged that members of the team have played golf during working hours.
Following the reports, the main opposition renewed its attack on Cho, urging him to take responsibility and resign.
“It would be right for Secretary Cho to apologize to the people and step down immediately,” Liberty Korea Party floor leader Rep. Kim Sung-tae said. He went on to accuse the presidential office of failing in its duties, saying the measures Cheong Wa Dae had taken were inadequate.
In response, Cheong Wa Dae returned all members of the team to their original organizations. The officials on the inspection team are selected from the police agency and the prosecutors’ office.
But Cheong Wa Dae declined to comment further, citing regulations.
“Due to the civil affairs regulations, the reports of misconduct by some members of the special inspection team cannot be confirmed as the matter is under investigation,” Cho said in a statement.
According to Cho, investigation of the concerned individuals will be carried out by the organizations they belong to.
“The Civil Affairs Office judged that the very fact that some members are suspected of wrongdoing would prevent the special inspection team from functioning properly, and decided to send all members back to their original organizations.”
In the statement, Cho also urged the police and the public prosecutors’ office to carry out swift and thorough investigations.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)