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Moon continues his appointments with critic of criminal justice system

May 11,2017
Cho Kuk, a progressive law professor at Seoul National University and a strenuous critic of the criminal justice system, was named Thursday senior civil affairs secretary for President Moon Jae-in. The senior civil affairs secretary is a powerful post that supervises the prosecution, police and the National Intelligence Service.

The post has long been occupied by a former prosecutor, and the appointment of Cho reflects Moon’s promise to overhaul the criminal justice system to make it less political. Moon also named Cho Hyun-ock, a visiting politics professor at Ewha Womans University, as the senior secretary for personnel affairs.

Yoon Young-chan, former vice president of the internet portal Naver, was named senior secretary for public affairs.

After his appointment, Cho Kuk made clear his intention for prosecutorial reform.

“The prosecution has strong powers, but the people question if the powers were used strictly and fairly,” he said. Cho said the massive corruption and abuse of power scandal that led to the removal of Park Geun-hye would have not happened if the prosecution used its powers properly.

“It is the president’s firm philosophy that such a scandal must never be repeated,” Cho said. “I will fully support the president’s plan.”

After high-profile former prosecutors working in the Park Blue House were accused of taking part in the abuse of power and influence-peddling scandal that led to Park’s impeachment and removal, public trust in the prosecution hit bottom.

Kim Ki-choon, former presidential chief of staff, was detained for having blacklisted artists critical of the administration. Woo Byung-woo, former senior civil affairs secretary, was suspected of having abused his power.


BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]