Justice delayedPusan National University (PNU) has finally revoked the 2015 admission of Cho Min, daughter of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, to its medical school. Two years have passed since questions about the younger Cho’s entries to elite schools were raised during the confirmation hearing for Cho as the nominee for justice minister in September 2019. The Health and Welfare Minister must examine whether to cancel the doctoral licensing for Cho as she had passed the state exam in January. The hospital where she is interning also must decide its actions.
Cho’s case has differed from other cases of irregularities in school entries. Twin sisters who attended Sookmyung Girl’s High School and Chung Yoo-ra — the daughter of Choi Soon-sil who was convicted of power abuse for her connection with former President Park Geun-hye — were immediately dismissed by their schools for similar reasons. If the university had acted after Chung Kyung-sim, a professor of Dongyang University and wife of Cho, was found guilty of forging documents to improve her daughter’s credentials in her first trial eight months ago, it could have prevented the younger Cho from sitting the medical exam and saved much of the social cost.
The university was ashamed of being implicated and acted to correct the damage to its reputation. Yet it chose to wait until the final verdict. It did not waver even when Chung was arrested at court out of concern of destrcution of evidence.
The list of fraudulent documents used to adorn Cho’s credentials has been numerous. The ruling’s listing the misdeeds should have chagrined PNU.
Korea University also should be ashamed for its laxity in responding to the scandal involving the offspring of a powerful figure on the ruling front. Chung Chung-rae, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party (DP), had demanded the education minister stop Korea University from canceling Cho’s admission to the top university. The DP has been audacious in lashing out at the court for rulings related to Cho. Open Democratic Party Rep. Kim Eui-kyeom is demanding the affair be reinvestigated by the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials.
Universities must share responsibility for causing the shameful excess of the ruling front as if it is above the law. Along with his daughter, there would have been many who had missed out on their bids at Korea University and PNU medical school due to their dillydallying. Universities must set their foot down before it is too late.