SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s prime minister-nominee has withdrawn from consideration following mounting criticism over alleged pro-Japanese remarks he made.
President Park Geun-hye had nominated former senior journalist Moon Chang-keuk to replace the current prime minister who offered to resign to take responsibility for April’s deadly ferry disaster.
But Moon has been under fire after media reported that he called Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula God’s will and made other controversial remarks in past speeches.
Japan colonized Korea from 1910-45 and many older Koreans still hold strong resentment against Japan.
Moon said in a televised news conference Tuesday that his past comments were taken out of context but he’s voluntarily withdrawing so he does not pose a further political burden to Park.