President Yoon Suk Yeol plans to turn down offers of resignation by the chief of the Coast Guard and eight other senior officials in the military branch.
The presidential office said in a notice to reporters on Friday that it understands the officials handed in their notice to show that they are willing to take responsibility for the confusion over the death of a fisheries official in the previous investigation conducted during the previous administration.
The top office said it understands their genuine intentions, but their resignations will be turned down in light of the ongoing investigation by the Board of Audit and Inspection.
Earlier on Friday, Coast Guard Commissioner General Jeong Bong-hun and eight other top officers handed in their resignations over the case. The commissioner reportedly said he felt responsible for his agency's mismanagment in the incident.
The joint resignation comes after the agency recently retracted a statement made soon after the fisheries ministry official was killed by the North Korean military near the western sea border in 2020, saying that the official had attempted to defect to the North.
Jeong, who took office as chief of the nation's Coast Guard in December last year, was serving as director general for maritime security at the time of the tragedy.