+ A

SNU student union urges Cho Kuk to step down

Sept 06,2019
이미지뷰
Members of the student union at Seoul National University urge Cho Kuk to step down from his nomination as justice minister on Thursday during a press conference on the school campus in Gwanak District, southwestern Seoul. [NEWS1]
The student union of Seoul National University (SNU) in Gwanak District, southwestern Seoul, urged Cho Kuk to surrender his nomination as justice minister, accusing him of dodging responsibility over every allegation against him and his family.

The student union of SNU, where Cho is a law professor, took issue with his “irresponsible” attitude during a press briefing he called on Monday at the National Assembly in western Seoul where he answered questions from the media for 11 hours.

“On every allegation raised, Cho said he didn’t know about it, wasn’t involved in it or will ‘remember the scolding deep down in his heart,’” the student union said in a statement.

“At a time when prosecutors are probing the suspicions engulfing Cho with full force, we cannot trust his words that he would not interfere in the investigation if he becomes justice minister.”

The student union stressed that Cho should not be named justice minister because he “abused the social system and avoids taking responsibility.”

SNU’s third rally against the justice minister nominee is scheduled for next Monday at 6 p.m. on the school’s campus, said the union.

Students at SNU’s law school, where Cho is a professor of criminal law and procedure, also released a joint statement on Wednesday urging him to step down, saying he shouldn’t become the minister of justice if he can’t resolve the suspicions against him and his family.

The law school specifically pointed out Cho’s “evasive attitude” during Monday’s press conference at the National Assembly, allegations against his family about investments in a private equity fund and his daughter’s university admissions scandal.

In another press conference held in Jung District, central Seoul on Thursday, professors from various universities gathered to protest Cho’s nomination, saying their joint statement denouncing Cho and urging him to step down was signed by nearly 200 professors across the nation.

“We are at a state where the prosecution in the Moon Jae-in administration is investigating irregularities committed by nominee Cho’s family,” said Lee Byung-tae, professor of information systems at KAIST in Daejeon. Lee continued that the Moon administration’s “self-righteousness” will be judged by the public and that President Moon Jae-in must withdraw his nomination for Cho.

Lee, who led the campaign for gathering signatures, said he felt the necessity to reprimand Cho upon learning that his family “abused” the “veracity of education and academia.”

Among the allegations surrounding Cho’s 28-year-old daughter, currently attending Pusan National University’s medical school, is that she wrongly gained credit as the first author of an English-language research paper after a two-week internship as a high school student and received a forged award by the president of the university that her mother teaches at.

BY LEE TAE-YUN, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]