Anchor: President Moon Jae-in has picked five-term Rep. Choo Mi-ae to lead his campaign to reform the nation's powerful prosecution. That task was left unfinished by controversial former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who was forced to resign amid a widening investigation into him and his family.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: President Moon Jae-in has chosen five-term ruling Democratic Party lawmaker Choo Mi-ae as justice minister.
Announcing the nomination Thursday, presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung highlighted Choo's illustrious career in the judiciary and legislature.
[Sound bite: Presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung (Korean)]
"Rep. Choo Mi-ae, who has been nominated as justice minister, became a legal professional to protect the rights of the socially disadvantaged and has been praised as a judge with strong principles. Following her entry into politics, she became the first five-term female district lawmaker and proved her political influence. The judge-turned lawmaker's legal expertise, political acumen and her reform-minded strong convictions will help her complete judicial reform..."
The job requires reforming the nation's powerful prosecution, which launched an unprecedented probe into then Justice Minister Cho Kuk, ending his career in just over a month.
Speaking to reporters after her nomination was announced, the 61-year-old heavyweight politician said she will not be buried by her party's political interests.
[Sound bite: Democratic Party Rep. Choo Mi-ae (Korean)]
"Criminal Justice and prosecutorial reforms have now become the call of the times. In addition, the public hopes for legal administration that respects human rights and the public livelihood. I think that President Moon Jae-in's proposal is that we meet these public demands and call of the times together."
She refused to elaborate if she'd work hand-in-glove with Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-yeol, saying she'd get to that later.
Choo was chief of her party during the last presidential election, helping propel Moon to the presidency.
Though the nomination comes 52 days after Cho's resignation, the task of reform is ever more daunting. The prosecution is now probing the presidential office over its alleged meddling into the Ulsan mayoral election last year and a cover-up of suspected bribery by a ranking official with ties to President Moon Jae-in.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.