By Lee Han-soo, Park Si-soo
President Park Geun-hye has accepted the resignation of Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woo on Monday evening, while holding off on the resignation of Senior Presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs Choi Jai-kyeong.
Kim is the first Cabinet member departing from Park's administration amid the burgeoning corruption scandal involving the President's shadowy friend, Choi Soon-sil. The minister's resignation will accelerate the President's loss of control over the prosecution that has pinpointed Park as a "criminal suspect" in the scandal, along with Choi and her other longtime confidants.
Park accepted Kim's resignation five days after he expressed his intention to vacate the position in charge of controlling the prosecution, in coordination with Secretary Choi.
The minister said on Nov. 21: "It's appropriate to quit the job in this situation." He did not elaborate.