Posted January. 10, 2005 21:59,
Chief Presidential Secretary Kim Woo-sik and other high-ranking presidential officials offered their resignations on Sunday in relation to the scandal caused by the appointment and the early resignation of Lee Ki-jun as the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development.
In a luncheon meeting with President Roh Moo-hyun, Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, and other presidential aides in Cheong Wa Dae, Kim was quoted as saying by Lee Byung-wan, the secretary for public relations, that as head of the personnel affairs committee in the presidential office, he feels responsible for the blunder and was willing to resign.
Lee also expressed his intention to step down, and Moon Jae-in, secretary for civic and social agendas, Park Jung-kyu, secretary for civil affairs, and Jeong Chan-yong, Rohs secretary for personnel administration, also announced their intention to resign, and plan to tender their official resignations on Monday morning all together.
Another member of the personnel affairs committee in the presidential office not at the meeting, Kim Byung-joon, who heads the Choeng Wa De Policy Planning Bureau, offered to tender his resignation on Monday as well.
Kim Byung-joon, the head of Cheong Wa Dae Policy Planning Bureau, who did not participate in the meeting, reportedly plans to submit his resignation on Monday morning as well.
Regarding the mass resignation of his staff, President Roh said that he will take time to think it over. However, a partial reshuffling of the presidential staff to censure the incident is likely to happen.
Premier Lee also acknowledged his partial responsibility, saying that he himself recommended Lee Ki-jun as the Deputy Prime Minister for education, and being too absorbed with the significance of reforming universities, he was not fully aware of the other aspects.
President Roh apologized to the people for the troubles resulting from the controversial appointment of the education minister, and ordered the betterment and the transparency of the personnel recommendation system, using this incident as momentum.
For specific measures to improve the personnel system, President Roh suggested a one-day confirmation hearing in the related parliamentary committee for cabinet member candidates, receiving agreement from the parliament and the candidates for verifying the value of the personal financial assets of candidates before their appointment, and issuing questionnaires to the candidates and getting answers before the appointment. President Roh also accepted the resignation of Lee Ki-jun as the deputy prime minister of education and human resources development Sunday.
Prior to this, novice legislators of the ruling party in the parliamentary committee dealing with education, namely Jee Byung-moon and Chung Bong-ju, had raised the issue of reprimanding Cheong Wa Dae presidential staff for this incident starting on Saturday.