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Will Choo Mi-ae leave after another prosecution shuffle?

Will Choo Mi-ae leave after another prosecution shuffle?

Posted December. 17, 2020 07:53,   

Updated December. 17, 2020 07:53


As the examination of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl by the disciplinary committee comes to an end, many speculations are being made over the future of Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae. With some calling for her resignation to put the conflict between Choo and Yoon behind, there have been discussions about when and how she should step down.

“If history is any guide, it is unlikely that President Moon Jae-in will simply replace Minister Choo with someone else,” said a source from the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. “By-election for the mayor of Seoul will take place next year, and she will probably be considered for the position during the second cabinet shuffle scheduled early next year.” “Choo can step down now as her battle against Yoon has ended before the end of the year as expected,” said a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea.

Others, however, doubt that Choo will want to resign. There is a possibility that she would try to stay in the position, citing a reshuffle in the prosecution that will take place as early as January 2021. In a briefing on three acts on reforming authorities, she said she would complete the prosecution reform that is long overdue.

This has prompted speculations that senior prosecutor officers who voiced their opposition during the disciplinary committee’s examination of Yoon will be replaced. Much attention has been drawn to who will be the next assistant prosecutor general to serve the prosecutor general for two months during which Yoon is suspended. Assistant Prosecutor General Cho Nam-gwan has challenged Choo by asking her to review her decision when she announced charges against Yoon and ordering a “reverse investigation” into court investigation documents. Some see Lee Seong-yun, the head of Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, as a strong candidate for the position.

Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com · Seong-Ho Hwang hsh0330@donga.com