Pride and Prosecution in the Korean Ministry of Justice
The South Korean Ministry of Justice has emerged as the epicentre of political turmoil since fall 2019. The main protagonists are former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who is under investigation for legal and ethical transgressions, and current Minister Choo Mi-ae, who reshuffled the Prosecutor’s Office amid investigations into political allies of President Moon Jae-in and his Democratic Party. The two close allies of President Moon have made the Democratic Party vulnerable to the accusation of hypocrisy and of pursuing a governance style in which their cause justifies all means. While President Moon’s traditional supporters remain unimpressed by these developments, they could sway swing voters, making up about 40% of the electorate. The scandals within the Ministry of Justice, together with the economy, unemployment, the peace process with North Korea, and the management of the COVID-19 outbreak, are expected to influence the April 2020 Legislative Elections.