The declaration was announced by an association of current and former university professors -- roughly translated as professors for social justice.
|Academics calling for Justice Minsiter Cho Kuk`s resignation hold a rally outside the presidential office on Thursday. Yonhap|
The association on Thursday held a press conference outside Cheong Wa Dae and called for Cho’s resignation, and urged President Moon Jae-in to seek a replacement more fit to represent justice and ethics.
“Today, we are witnessing the fall of social justice and ethics in Korea,” the declaration said.
“(We) strongly urge President Moon to quickly appoint a new person who can forge public consensus, and uphold social justice and ethics as a justice minister, in place of Cho.”
According to the organization, 3,396 professors from 290 universities have expressed their support for the declaration as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. By institution, Seoul National University professors were the most numerous at 179, followed by Yonsei University and Kyung Hee University with 105 each.
The association of professors also said that they are unable to disclose the names of the signatories due to “malicious tampering.”
The association has alleged that its online petition has been attacked by supporters of the administration who used false names to sign the petition.
Many conservative news outlets have reported that the number of signatories of the declaration far outnumber a similar declaration issue by university professors leading to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
The claim, however, maybe limited to the number of professors who participated in a single declaration led by the left-leaning group Professors for Democracy, which gathered some 2,200 signatures.
In the lead up to Park’s impeachment, professors from various universities also issued separate declarations, starting with Sogang University on Oct. 26. In the week that followed professors from more than 100 universities followed suit.
The number of university professors who participated in separate declarations came to over 2,000 just from 10 major national universities.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)