Prime Minister-designate Kim Tae-ho stepped down as nominee Sunday morning, amid growing political conflict over his ethical qualifications.
Kim has been accused of repeatedly backtracking his statements at the parliamentary hearings that vetted his qualifications for the post.
The former governor of South Gyeongsang Province was nominated as prime minister in a Cabinet reshuffle on Aug. 8.
Kim was in the hot seat over his ties with former Taekwang CEO Park Yeon-cha, who was suspected of giving him kickbacks. In late 2008, Park was arrested on charges of tax evasion and alleged insider trading. He tried to downplay his relationship with Park, testifying he didn’t know Park at all initially. Later, he said he got to know him “after 2007.” But a photo soon surfaced showing him attending a business meeting in 2006, with Park standing next to him.