“I am always thinking about my next step,” said National Police Agency Chief Yoon Hee-geun on Monday to reporters’ question on the voice calling for his resignation from the police. Some members of the police say that Yoon should voluntarily step down from his position as he recommended lawyer Jung as a candidate for the chief of the National Office of Investigation despite internal opposition that it would neutralize the adjustment of investigative rights between the prosecution and the police and Jeong got disapproved. There also have been continuous scandals surrounding Yoon, including establishing the Police Bureau within the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the Itaewon Halloween crowd crush, and retaliatory personnel decisions at the end of the year since he took office in August last year.
“I feel regretful about the current situation as a person with the recommendation right,” said Yoon to reporters regarding Jeong’s disapproval at the National Police Agency building in Seodaemun, Seoul on Monday morning. “We will quickly carry out follow-up measures to shorten the period of the seat being left empty,” he added. “It took about 50 days last time, so I think it should take shorter than that.” To a question asking if he was aware of the school violence issues involving Jeong’s son, Yoon said "no."
Questions were asked about the failure of Jeong’s personnel verification during a closed plenary meeting of the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly on Monday. “I recommended a qualified candidate after sharing opinions with the presidential office,” said Yoon on the process of recommending Jeong, according to Yoo Sang-beom, the People Power Party’s assistant administrator of the Intelligence Committee. A candidate for the chief of the National Office of Investigation is recommended by the chief of the National Police Agency and seconded by the Minister of the Interior and Safety to gain the president’s approval.
“The National Police Agency does not have any right for personnel verification and simply receive verification results,” said Yoon. “We were informed that there was no issue with the results. The reason I feel regretful for the current situation is because of the minimum responsibility I carry as a person with the recommendation right." According to Youn Kun-young, the Democratic Party of Korea’s assistant administrator of the Intelligence Committee, Yoon said that he was told there was no issue with two of the three applicants in their personnel verification, and one had issues.
Yoon showed some reservations about those calling for his resignation, but those within the police are getting angry. On POLNET, an online police forum where users use their real names, some were calling for Yoon’s resignation by saying that he should admit he is an incapable chief who can’t say truthful words despite the organization collapsing in front of him. In addition, more and more people within the police are saying that a former prosecutor shouldn’t be appointed as the chief of the National Office of Investigation.
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