Choi Si-joong, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, offered his resignation on Friday amid surging public criticism over a string of bribery and influence-peddling scandals.
“It’s time to leave and take responsibility,” Choi said at a hastily arranged news conference, referring to his aide’s alleged implication in the bribery scandal. “I hope that my departure will help the watchdog stave off prejudice and misunderstanding held by the public.”
Choi, one of the closest confidants of President Lee Myung-bak, has been under growing pressure to step down over the allegation that his aide surnamed Jeong received money from Kim Hak-in, an operator of a local education institution, and helped him get selected as a board member the state-run EBS station.
The aide is also implicated in another bribery incident involving lawmakers in charge of media policies in 2009 right after the revised media bill was passed.
Aside from the bribery scandals, civic groups attacked the regulatory policy of the KCC led by Choi over what they called “unfair” selection of new general-purpose cable broadcasters.
Since 2008, Choi has headed the KCC, the state-run agency that supervises the country’s telecommunications and broadcasting policies.
By Yang Sung-jin (firstname.lastname@example.org