Cho Kuk

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Cho Kuk
조국
Jo Guk (2017-05).jpg
Cho Kuk in May 2017
Minister of Justice
Assumed office
9 September 2019
PresidentMoon Jae-in
Preceded byPark Sang-ki
Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs
In office
11 May 2017 – 26 July 2019
PresidentMoon Jae-in
Preceded byCho Dae-hwan
Succeeded byKim Joe-won
Personal details
Born (1965-04-06) 6 April 1965 (age 54)
West District, Busan, South Korea
CitizenshipSouth Korean
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
affiliations
New Politics Alliance for Democracy (2014-2015)
Spouse(s)Chung Kyung-shim
Children2
Alma materSeoul National University
University of California, Berkeley
OccupationJurist, activist, politician

Cho Kuk (Korean: 조국, born 6 April 1965[1]) is a South Korean jurist and politician. From 2017 to 2019, he served as the Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs in the Moon Jae-in Cabinet. On 9 August 2019, President Moon Jae-in designated Cho as Minister of Justice, replacing the incumbent Park Sang-ki; he was officially appointed on 9 September.

Early life and education[edit]

Cho was born in West District of Busan[2][3] in 1965,[1] as the eldest son of the ex-Director of Institute of Ungdong,[4] Cho Byun-hyun (died in 2013),[4] and his wife and the current Director of the institute, Park Jung-sook.[1][5][6] He attended for Gudeok Elementary School in Busan, then moved to Seoul and studied at Daesin Middle School. After he returned back to Busan, he finished his secondary education at Hyekwang High School.[3]

Cho earned a bachelor's and master’s degree in law studies from Seoul National University,[3][2][1], and doctoral degree (J.S.D) from University of California, Berkeley in the United States. [3][1] He was also a visiting scholar at University of Oxford[2] and University of Leeds[2] in the United Kingdom.

Cho used to be a lecturer for law studies at University of Ulsan[2] from 1992[1] to 1994 and from 1999 to 2000,[7] then at Dongguk University[2] from 2000 to 2001,[7] and later at Seoul National University--where he had earned his bachelor's degree--from 2001 to 2004.[7] While at Seoul National University, his position was promoted from a lecturer to a senior lecturer (2004-2009),[7] then to a full professor in 2009. [7][3][8][9]

Political career[edit]

Cho showed his interests toward politics in the end of the 1980s, while studying at university.[1] During this time, he was already a member of Socialist Labour League of South Korea,[1][5] along with Rhyu Si-min and Eun Su-mi. Cho was detained due to this activities, under the breach of the National Security Act, and declared as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.[1] Later, he criticised the National Security Act as a "barbaric law" from his book titled For the Freedom of Conscience and Ideology.[10]

Since the 2000s, Cho has been involved in various activities related to human rights and democracy. He was a member of People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy,[2][7] Committee of Determination of Punishment in Supreme Court,[11][2] National Human Rights Commission,[2][7] and the other various organisations.

Cho has never held any kind of elected positions,[1] despite the former Democratic Party[12] and its successor Democratic Unionist Party[13] suggested him for running as a member of National Assembly in Bundang 2nd constituency.[1] There were also expectations that Cho would run for the Superintendent of Education in Seoul during the local elections in 2014, but he declined.[14][1] He didn't even run for mayorship of Busan in 2018, despite of the public expectations.[1]

Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs, 2017-2019[edit]

Cho Kuk in 2015

On 11 May 2017, the next day after Moon Jae-in officially assumed his presidency, Cho was appointed as Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs.[15][1] He was one of non-prosecutors appointed for the position.[15][16] He promised for the clear investigation of 2016 South Korean political scandal.[15] This was welcomed by People's Party,[17] but also attacked from Liberty Korea Party.[18][6]

On 31 December 2018, he attended at House Steering Committee of National Assembly.[1] This "surprise" attend was issued into South Korean society, as this was not really done by the former senior secretaries.[1] A source reported that this inclined the approval ratings of the President Moon.[19]

He was replaced by Kim Joe-won on 26 July 2019.[20]

Minister of Justice[edit]

On 9 August 2019, Cho was nominated for the position of Minister of Justice[5][21] replacing Park Sang-ki, by President Moon. He quoted from General Lee Soon-shin and promised for the political reform.[21]

On 9 September, Cho was officially appointed as the Minister of Justice.

Political orientation[edit]

Cho is often regarded as liberal,[1] even though he was labelled as a "leftist" by several right-wings.[22][23][16] Regarding with the abolition of death penalty, he said, "I understood the national sentiment, but it should be replaced to life imprisonment."[24] He also mentioned that people should not argue with criminality of abortion.[25]

For issues related to Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), Cho announced that the government is not only for KCTU and impossible to satisfy their demands.[26][27]

Books[edit]

  • Sex-biased Criminal Codes (1 March 2001)
  • For the Freedom of Conscience and Ideology (30 August 2001)
  • Prostitution (1 February 2004)
  • Hearsay Rule of Illegally Acquired Evidences (20 March 2005)
  • Plea-bargaining ― Introduction Planning and Studies (2006)
  • Introspecting Liberals (24 March 2008)
  • Hymn of Bonobo (How to survive as human in jungle-capitalist Korea?) (11 May 2009)
  • We're Telling You, South Korea ― Our Homelands (3 January 2011)
  • Why am I studying law? (15 June 2014)
  • Criminal Law for Self-control (25 December 2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "[Who Is ?] 조국 청와대 민정수석". 17 January 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "진보집권플랜: 오연호가 묻고 조국이 답하다". 5 November 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "[프로필]조국 청와대 민정수석비서관". 11 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "[부음] 조변현 씨 별세, 조국 조권 씨 부친상". 30 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "조국 검증대에… 야당, 54억 재산ㆍ자녀 외고 진학 등 공세 예고". 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "웅동학원 비판한 자유한국당, 역풍에 나경원 휘청". 12 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "조국". Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "조국 "송민순, 전직 장관이 중요 문건 마음대로 공개하는 이유는.."". 21 April 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ "조국 "안철수 'MB 아바타'·'갑철수' 정치적으로 최악의 질문"". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  10. ^ ""피고 국가보안법의 폐지를 선고합니다" …청년 역할극". 1 December 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  11. ^ "대법원, 2기 양형위원회 출범". 7 May 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  12. ^ "상품가치 높아지는 조국, 몸 다는 野". 24 March 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  13. ^ "[뉴스A]단독/한명숙, 공천심사위원장에 조국 교수 영입 추진". 17 January 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  14. ^ "조국 교수, 내년 선거 출마 의사·능력 모두 없다면서…". 28 November 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "靑민정수석에 非검찰 출신 조국 내정..인사수석엔 여성 조현옥". 10 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  16. ^ a b "[클로즈업] 법무장관 조국, 비(非)검찰 출신의 개혁 사령탑...강남좌파 지적도". 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  17. ^ "정윤회 문건, 박지원 "백번 천번 옳은 말, '정의로운 수사' 필요해"". 13 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  18. ^ "자유한국당 "靑민정수석, 정윤회문건 수사 재검토 재고하라". 14 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  19. ^ "조국 국회출석 통했나? 문 대통령 국정 지지율 반등". 3 January 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  20. ^ "조국 후임 김조원 "잘못땐 지적해달라"". 26 July 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  21. ^ a b "조국 또 이순신 언급, "서해맹산의 정신으로 소명 완수"". 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  22. ^ "[김순덕 칼럼]분당우파 vs 강남좌파". 20 March 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  23. ^ "이언주 "조국 나오면 당연히 붙어야...강남 좌파의 시대 끝났다"". 22 April 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  24. ^ "유영철·강호순 등 사형 대기자 61명, 이영학 집행은?". 21 February 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  25. ^ "여성 몸 통제하던 '낙태죄', 66년 만에 위헌 결정". 11 April 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  26. ^ "조국 "민주노총만의 정부 아냐…함께 반보 내딛자"". 24 November 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  27. ^ "[월요칼럼] 기득권의 논리에 포획당한 민주주의 /이택광". 26 November 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2019.


Preceded by
Park Sang-ki
Minister of Justice
2019-
Incumbent
Preceded by
Cho Dae-hwan
Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs
2017-2019
Succeeded by
Kim Joe-hwan