Prosecutor General Yoon announces his resignation

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Prosecutor General Yoon announces his resignation

Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl on Thursday announces his decision to resign from the post to fight against the Moon Jae-in administration and the ruling Democratic Party's plan to weaken the prosecution's powers. [YONHAP]

Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl on Thursday announces his decision to resign from the post to fight against the Moon Jae-in administration and the ruling Democratic Party's plan to weaken the prosecution's powers. [YONHAP]

 
Protesting the Moon Jae-in administration’s campaign to weaken the state prosecution service, Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl resigned Thursday.  
 
“I am stepping down from the prosecutor general position today,” Yoon said in a press conference at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. “Constitutional values and rule of law, which have elevated this country, are being destroyed. And the people will suffer as a consequence.”
 
Yoon said he could no longer tolerate the tearing apart of justice in Korean society. He said he will continue to do his best to protect liberal democracy and the people of the country after he leaves his post.  
 
For Yoon to formally step down, Moon will have to accept the resignation.
 
Yoon, appointed by Moon to head the prosecution in July 2019, has four months left in his two-year tenure. Unlike a cabinet minister, the prosecutor general’s tenure is guaranteed by law.
 
Yoon visited the Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office and Daegu High Prosecutors' Office on Wednesday and returned to Seoul late at night. He took the morning off on Thursday.
 
During his visit to Daegu, Yoon denounced Moon’s ruling Democratic Party (DP) for attempting to strip the state prosecution service of its investigative powers, calling the plan a “sellout to corruption.”
 
The DP recently presented a plan to launch a so-called Serious Crimes Investigative Agency under the Ministry of Justice to investigate six types of crimes, including corruption. The plan would transfer the state prosecution service’s current authority to investigate those crimes to the new agency and leave prosecutors with only the power to make indictments.
 
The DP said its goal is to submit a bill on the establishment of the new agency in March and pass it by June.
 
Yoon, who has maintained a generally taciturn attitude toward Moon’s series of reform measures to weaken the prosecution’s powers, broke silence to denounce the idea of completely taking away the prosecution’s investigative powers.
 
SER MYO-JA   [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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