The presidential office is considering special pardons around the time of the March First Independence Movement Day for those imprisoned for taking part in politically sensitive rallies, such as the ones concerning Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery and the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking.
According to an official at the top office Tuesday, the Justice Ministry is trying to determine the current status of people who were punished for their participation in such rallies, including one that protested a deal between South Korea and Japan on compensation of wartime sexual slavery victims.
The official, however, said it will take more time for the ministry's list of candidates to be delivered to the presidential office, adding it will likely be sent before the Cabinet meeting scheduled for February 26th.
He declined to confirm whether any politician will be included in the upcoming presidential pardons.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Han Jung-woo said Tuesday that the Justice Ministry has yet to finalize the extent of the pardons, adding that President Moon Jae-in's pledge to restrict pardons for criminals convicted of corruption-related crimes remains in force.