President Moon Jae-in has sought public understanding about the government’s drive to reform the prosecution, saying it is to keep excessive power of legal authorities in check.
He made the remarks during a New Year's press conference at the presidential office on Tuesday.
Moon said the power of the prosecution is smaller than in the past but still strong and urged the prosecution to comply with reform measures. He added that handing down power is the essence of public demands for reform of powerful organizations.
He denied accusations that his reform efforts are aimed at suppressing the prosecution and getting it to work to the administration's advantage, saying the prosecution is an organization that should be subject to democratic checks and balances.
He said ongoing prosecutorial reform efforts are not tied to ongoing investigations into alleged top office meddling in the 2018 Ulsan mayoral election.
The president also stressed Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl’s role in reform, saying he can lead internal changes. Moon said Yoon can also help gain public confidence in the prosecution through strict and nondiscriminatory investigations.