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Army Chief of Staff Nam Jae-joon Expresses Intention to Resign

Army Chief of Staff Nam Jae-joon Expresses Intention to Resign

Posted November. 25, 2004 22:52,   


As the Ministry of National Defense (MND) Prosecutor’s Office started an investigation into dubious documents regarding the promotions of senior army officers, Army Chief of Staff General Nam Jae-joon expressed his intention to resign on November 25. His decision has created a nationwide stir.

General Nam called Vice Minister of National Defense Yoo Hyo-il on Thursday to announce his resignation. The general will officially submit the application of discharge to Minister of National Defense Yoon Kwang-ung on Friday morning.

Regarding this, the National Security Council (NSC) held an emergency meeting and decided to turn down his resignation. It is, however, unclear whether the general will withdraw his decision.

“It is desirable for General Nam to express his intention to resign, taking entire responsibility for the incident,” said President Roh Moo-hyun. “But I believe he can continue carrying out his duties with a strong sense of responsibility, even though there might be some criticism.”

There is no official procedure of turning down the application of discharge submitted by generals. If General Nam accepts the request of NSC before submitting his application, then his resignation will be turned down.

If the general does not change his position, the replacement of incumbent senior military officers, including the army, is likely to follow. Therefore, the president’s moves are closely watched since his has the appointive power.

Meanwhile, Chairman Ahn Yeong-geun of the Second Policy Coordination Committee of the Uri Party announced his intention of resignation, taking the responsibility of his remarks. He said on Wednesday that he would consider the inspection of state administration with regard to the promotion scandal over army generals.

While meeting the committee members, the chairman said that he submitted his resignation to the party, and expected it to be accepted. A Uri Party official said that nothing has been decided on his resignation.

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com