Vice Culture Minister Resigns amidst Blacklist Allegations
SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- A vice culture minister has recently tendered his resignation for an unspecified reason, the ministry confirmed Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, its vice minister Chung Kwan-joo has recently submitted his resignation, which has yet to be accepted.
Chung has come under mounting suspicions that he led the blacklisting of thousands of culture-arts figures who are hostile to the government when he worked as a presidential secretary before assuming the current post.
There are allegations that the list was used to keep them from joining major public organizations or projects and receiving state support.
Most recently, some also raised suspicions that President Park Geun-hye's long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil who stands at the center of an influence-peddling scandal exerted her influence to appoint Chung as one of the two vice culture ministers.
"We understand that Chung's health has suffered a lot recently," a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency.
Chung worked as a presidential secretary for political affairs for nearly two years before becoming the first vice culture minister to replace Park Min-kwon in late February.'