The Korea Herald


Yoon approves dismissal motion of commissioner for conflict of interest violation

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 8, 2023 - 19:19

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol approved a motion for the dismissal of a left-leaning commissioner of the state media regulation agency Friday for violating conflict-of-interest rules, the presidential office said.

Earlier in the day, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission announced that Choung Min-young, one of the nine commissioners of the Korea Communications Standards Commission recommended by the opposition bloc, had breached the law prohibiting commissioners from engaging in personal activities related to their duties.

Yoon, currently on an overseas trip to Indonesia and India, approved the motion, which had been submitted by the Ministry of Personnel Management, the presidential office said in a press release.

Choung, a lawyer by profession, had previously represented TV broadcaster MBC in a lawsuit concerning the broadcasting of a subtitled video featuring Yoon last year. The video had created the impression that he had used vulgar language to refer to U.S. President Joe Biden.

"Despite a clear conflict of interest, Choung neither reported nor abstained from such activities in accordance with relevant legislation and continued to participate in the KCSC's deliberations and votes on disciplinary actions involving MBC broadcasting personnel 56 times," a presidential official said.

The official also emphasized the importance of regaining the KCSC's fairness in dealing with "fake news," adding that Choung's activities have damaged the commission's functions.

Following the announcement, Choung expressed regret for failing to adhere to the new KCSC rules that order commissioners to report to the agency before engaging in such activities.

With his dismissal, a total of four commissioners recommended by the ruling party and three by the opposition bloc will now serve on the commission. Another commissioner was dismissed earlier, and the position remains vacant.

Later in the day, the KCSC chose Ryu Hee-lim, a former journalist recommended by the ruling party, as the new chairman. (Yonhap)