[Newsmaker] Cho Kuk admits to ‘privileges,’ promises to hand over family-owned fund for charity

  • Published : Aug 23, 2019 - 14:39
  • Updated : Aug 23, 2019 - 18:39

Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk said Friday afternoon he would hand over a private equity fund and a school foundation to a nonprofit organization to be used for charity, in response to an opposition demand for an extended confirmation hearing.

Earlier in the day, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party demanded a three-day confirmation hearing for scandal-ridden Cho, instead of the usual one-day hearing, in light of controversy surrounding Cho. 

Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Rep. Na Kyung-won (center) on Friday called for the confirmation hearing of Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk to be extended. (Yonhap)

Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Rep. Na Kyung-won said at a National Assembly conference Friday that the party “respectfully asks that the ruling Democratic Party accept the proposal, if the full truth is what it seeks.”

“In principle, confirmation hearings should be held within a three-day period, per what the law states -- although by custom, the hearings were held for a day for a Cabinet member and two days for a prime minister,” she said. “But the full three days are necessary in order to properly, and thoroughly verify (Cho’s) qualifications for the post.”

Rep. Kim Jin-tae of the National Assembly’s legislation and judiciary committee said in a press briefing on the same day that “a day will go by simply listing all the corruption allegations raised (against Cho) so far,” calling a three-day hearing “the bare minimum.”

“No confirmation hearing has entailed this many allegations to address,” Kim said. “If nominee Cho is blameless, he will welcome the proposal. There is no reason Cheong Wa Dae or the ruling party should object to three days either.”

The former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs faces suspicions of having his 28-year-old daughter illicitly admitted to college and medical school, among other alleged favors. His daughter is also suspected of having been listed as a lead author on papers without having made fair contributions and of being given internship opportunities at prestigious institutes.

Cho said he has “enjoyed considerable privileges as someone who belongs to ‘the haves’” and now seeks to return to society what he was given.

Despite calls from the opposition to step down, the troubled nominee revealed his intention to go through with the nomination, and promised to “disclose all” at the confirmation hearing, the date of which has yet to be decided.

By Kim Arin (