The Korea Herald


Commerce minister offers to resign


Published : Sept. 27, 2011 - 13:14

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Choi Joong-kyung, minister of knowledge economy, offered to step down Tuesday, taking responsibility for nationwide blackouts earlier in the month, a government official said.

The minister in charge of energy affairs offered his resignation to President Lee Myung-bak after a cabinet meeting, according to Park Cheong-won, a spokesman for the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

"Minister Choi offered to step down today and plans to submit his official resignation to the presidential chief of staff before the end of today," Park told reporters.

  The move came one day after the prime minister's office concluded after a weeklong investigation that government mistakes and "miscalculations" led to the massive blackouts that affected over 2 million homes across the nation on Sept. 15.

Observers earlier believed the minister would soon offer to step down as he had said he will not try to cling on to his government post once he fixed the problems identified in the incident.

The government is taking damage claims from individuals and private companies until next Tuesday. More than 3,000 claims have been filed so far, seeking over 17 billion won (US$14.4 million), according to the ministry. (Yonhap News)