Thousands demand dismissal of South Korea justice minister

SEOUL: Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the dismissal of Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who is accused of moral wrongdoing and shady financial dealings.
Cho’s family is being investigated on suspicion of investing in a holding company that is suspected of having taken part in market manipulation and illegal transactions.
The demonstrators on Wednesday also demanded that President Moon JaeIn step down, after he had come under pressure from the opposition last month for naming 54-year-old Cho to the ministerial post.
The demonstrations follow a rally of liberal groups at the weekend who support Cho. He is considered to be the architect of Moon’s plans to reform the nation’s prosecutor’s office, but conservatives consider him to be unqualified for the position.
Meanwhile, officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea met in Washington on Tuesday to discuss North Korean denuclearisation, just days after negotiations between the US and North Korea broke down in Sweden.
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, the US State Department said in a statement.
They “reaffirmed the importance of continued close… coordination on North Korea to achieve complete denuclearisation,” it said.
After nuclear talks with the US in Sweden broke down on Saturday, North Korea said it had “no intention” to continue unless the US took steps to end hostilities.
The North walked away from the talks saying it was disappointed at the lack of “new and creative” solutions offered by Washington, though the US said the meeting involved “good discussions” and that it was willing to meet again later this month.
The meeting in Sweden came after months of stalemate following a February meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, and after Pyongyang’s defiant test of a sea-launched ballistic missile last week.
Trump and Kim adopted a vaguely worded document on the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” at their first summit in June last year, but little progress has since been made. — AFP