Sixth resignation blow to South Korean President

Featured Korea - March 26th, 2013

South Korea’s fair trade commissioner-appointee Han Man-soo stepped down Monday, adding to the list of high-ranking resignations that has hit new president Park Geun-hye’s administration.

Han Man-soo offered to withdraw his nomination amid allegations that he has been holding secret overseas bank accounts to evade taxes.

Han’s resignation is the sixth resignation of top officials nominated by Park, The Korea Herald reports. Some of her most senior official appointments, including former nominees Kim Yong for prime minister, Kim Byung-kwan for defence minister and Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-ui, offered to resign amid a string of corruption scandals.

A spokeswoman for Park said she had been let down by the failure of some of her chosen officials to disclose their financial history in full. “To check very seriously might take one or two months,” she said, adding that the men’s alleged offences were revealed by local media only after their nominations were announced, reports the Financial Times.

The resignations come as a blow for Park who pledged to restore the public’s faith in politicians by cracking down on graft.

“We are seeing problems that usually happen at the last stage of a government happening so early,” said Lee Joon-han, a professor at Seoul’s Incheon University. “The current political trouble has made people lose their confidence in the president and her way of running the country.”