A much-overdue and highly anticipated confirmation hearing for justice minister nominee Cho Kuk is underway at the National Assembly.
There's an intense debate over mounting allegations Cho and his family, such as suspicious investments in a private equity fund as well as alleged fraud involving his daughter's college admission.
Cho has either denied allegations or said he was unaware, noting that a prosecutors' probe is underway.
At the start of the hearing, he apologized to the people, saying the experience has made him reflect on his past, while at the same time pledging to carry out sweeping reforms if appointed.
"My actions have not lined up with my words. While I called for fairness and justice, I didn't realize that the benefits my family has enjoyed might not be fair. I will do my best to clear up these allegations. I think completing the judicial and prosecutorial reform is my duty and a way to give back to the people."
The ruling party is also defending Cho, claiming that he is fit to carry out the administration's reform drive, while the opposition bloc is trying to make the case that Cho's nomination should be scrapped.
A two-day hearing was initially scheduled for earlier this week, but was called off because of intense wrangling over whether Cho's family would be present to testify.
For Friday's hearing, rival parties agreed to summon 11 witnesses, who do not include Cho's family.
The hearing, however, is ultimately a formality as his appointment does not require parliamentary approval.