+ A

Unimaginable entertainment

July 06,2017
Park Sang-ki, the Yonsei University Law School professor that President Moon Jae-in nominated as justice minister, has come under fire for having joined a 60-year-old law Ph.D student in soliciting illegal entertainment while he was the dean of Yonsei Graduate School of Law 12 years ago.

The law student, surnamed Kim, entertained Park and his group at a karaoke salon and hotel during a trip to Beijing and donated 10 million won ($8,692) to a study club that Park led on Chinese law.

Kim filed a petition with the education ministry in early 2006 after he was denied entry to the doctoral course. After an internal probe, Yonsei University confirmed Kim had been entertained in Beijing, but found no evidence of favoritism or irregularities in the admission screening. The education ministry ordered the university to issue a strong warning and reorientation for Park and others who were involved.

Park claimed no wrongdoing was uncovered through the internal probe and that he was not disciplined as a result of the case. Park’s aides said he was not aware of the arrangement since he had not been among the organizers. They admitted that Park did go to a karaoke salon during his trip to Beijing, but did not receive any services.

In the petition, Kim claimed that he was accused of behavior unimaginable for scholars. The justice minister must be more morally straight and clean any other ministers in order to properly administer law and order.

If the allegations against Park are true, then he is just as unfit for the job as earlier candidate Ahn Kyong-whan, who withdrew himself from nomination due to his fraudulent marriage record. The confirmation hearing must summon Kim and others involved in the allegations to get to the bottom of the story.

JoongAng Ilbo, July 5, Page 30