Justice Minister Cho Kuk offered to step down on Monday, amid the ongoing investigation into corruption allegations against his family.
In a written statement handed out to reporters on Monday afternoon, Cho said that he felt apologetic to the public regarding the ongoing probes into his family, adding that he will now put down everything in order to take care of his family.
Speaking to reporters as he left the Justice Ministry for the last time as the ministry's head, Cho said that his role in bringing about prosecutorial reform has ended, and he asked for the public to support the government and his successor in completing the reform.
"I apologize and am grateful to the public.
I will now return to my role as a citizen.
The task of prosecutorial reform will be handed over to my competent successor.
More importantly, I believe that the public will finish the picture."
The surprise announcement came just three hours after Cho unveiled a set of reform measures.
Those include plans to balance out the prosecution's investigative power by leaving only three special investigative units that focus on corruption scandals involving high-ranking officials, as well as measures to protect the rights of suspects and stakeholders probed by the prosecution.
For the past two months since Cho was chosen to be justice minister by President Moon, Cho's family have been at the center of attention over allegations of corruption.
Those allegations include suspicions of forging a university award to help Cho's daughter gain admission to medical school and of involvement in a dubious private equity fund investment.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.