The Straits Times
Published on Jan 30, 2013

S. Korea president-elect loses PM nominee


SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean president-elect Park Geun Hye's incoming administration has been hit even before it takes office, with her nominee for prime minister withdrawing ahead of his confirmation hearings.

Mr Kim Yong Joon, 74, a former Constitutional Court chief and current head of Ms Park's transition committee, stepped aside after media reports raised suspicions about his accumulated family wealth.

Allegations were made that he had benefited from a series of unethical real-estate deals in the 1970s and 80s, while other questions were raised over the exemptions his two sons received from South Korea's mandatory military service.

"I decided to resign as the prime minister nominee as I have caused concerns to the people and trouble to the president-elect," Mr Kim said in a statement on Tuesday.