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Kim Jin-tae Nominated as Prosecutor General: "PK Region" Dominates Audit and Inspection Agencies
By Ahn Hong-wuk
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On October 27, President Park Geun-hye nominated former Deputy Prosecutor General Kim Jin-tae (61, 14th class of the Judicial Research and Training Institute, photo) as the new public prosecutor general. The nomination comes after a month since the former Public Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook resigned following allegations of an extramarital child.

As the president nominates a figure from Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province as the prosecutor general following her nomination of Hwang Chan-hyon (from Masan) as chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, the PK (Busan and South Gyeongsang region) line has dominated the leading position in audit and inspection agencies under the Park Geun-hye government.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Yang Sung-tae, Prime Minister Jung Hong-won, head of the Constitutional Court Park Han-cheol and Chief of Staff Kim Ki-choon, known as the second-in-command, are all from the Busan (formerly Pusan), South Gyeongsang (formerly Kyungsang) region.

Kim Jin-tae, public prosecutor general nominee (The Kyunghyang Shinmun file photo)



The concentration of key government figures from a certain region goes against President Park's campaign pledge of a grand national unity and fair presidential appointments, and is likely to trigger criticism of regional imbalance and neglect towards the Honam region.

Senior Secretary for Public Relations Lee Jung-hyun said, "The president nominated former Deputy Prosecutor General Kim as the new public prosecutor general in order to return the Prosecutors' Office to a normal state, to fairly and thoroughly close investigations on pending cases, and to create a Prosecutors' Office which the people can trust, as soon as possible."

Kim dropped out of Jinju High School, took a university qualification examination instead, and graduated from Seoul National University's School of Law. He then joined the Bank of Korea before he passed the bar.

Kim sent a text message to the reporters covering the judicial circle and expressed his views: "I feel a great sense of responsibility being nominated as prosecutor general at a time when the Prosecutors' Office is facing a crisis. I will do my utmost to prepare for the confirmation hearing at the National Assembly with a humble heart."

Kim will be subject to the National Assembly's confirmation hearing as early as mid November along with Hwang, candidate for chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, and Moon Hyung-pyo, candidate for minister of health and welfare.

With the nomination of Kim as the public prosecutor general, the leaders of all five investigation authorities--the Prosecutors' Office, the Police Agency, the National Tax Service, the National Intelligence Service, and the Board of Audit and Inspection--will be replaced with figures appointed by President Park. It appears President Park will launch a full range of reforms through various inspections and investigations on overall public office in order to normalize the abnormal practices, which the president mentioned as a key to her management of state affairs.

Kim Kwan-young, spokesperson for the Democratic Party said, "It is common knowledge that Kim is the closest of aides to Chief of Staff Kim Ki-choon. We are concerned that perhaps Chief of Staff Kim is sending another agent as the prosecutor general to dominate the Prosecutors' Office."

Copyright The Kyunghyang Shinmun. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution without permission absolutely prohibited.

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