The rage of the youngStudents at Korea University and Seoul National University (SNU) both held rallies on Friday. Korea University students demanded a probe into any irregularities in the way the daughter of justice minister nominee Cho Kuk was accepted to the prestigious school through an early admission program. SNU students demanded their former law school professor to not just resign as a justice minister nominee, but also resign from a permanent teaching post at the elite school. Anger and a sense of betrayal are behind the student protests against the once iconic reform-minded scholar they had revered.
Cho received the public outrage humbly and offered to donate the family interests to a private equity fund and a school foundation. He said he cannot sleep with the thought of the anger he and his family have caused. He pleaded for belief in his sincerity as he vowed to share everything he has and serve the community. But his sincerity has failed to reach the public’s hearts as it came too late and greatly contradicts his comments in the past. The ruling party’s proposal to hold a confirmation hearing on Cho by inviting civilians cannot be a solution.
The Moon Jae-in administration and Cho must understand the depth and cause of the rage of the young people.
The flash point is the question about the way Cho’s daughter entered college. Her name was cited as the first author in an English-language paper published in the Korean Journal of Pathology in 2008 after she partook in the research in 2007 during a two-week internship program at the department of medical science at Dankook University while she was a freshman in a foreign language high school in Seoul. She highlighted the achievement in applying for Korea University through early admission and was accepted.
After she graduated from Korea University, she studied at SNU Graduate School for Environmental Studies for a year on scholarship for two semesters and then Pusan National University Graduate School of Medicine from 2015. At the medical school, she received scholarship for six consecutive semesters although she flunked the first two semesters. Her privileged higher education track record is incomprehensible in the eye’s of the public.
President Moon Jae-in handed out the book “The age of those born in the 1990s is coming” to Blue House staff. If Moon ignores the outrage of the young, he will lose public confidence for good.