South Korea's prime minister and Cabinet offered their resignations to President Chun Doo Hwan, giving him the opportunity to restructure his scandal-tarnished government, Monitor correspondent Frederic A. Moritz reports.
The resignation offer by Prime Minister Yoo Chang Soon and his Cabinet assumes moral responsibility for a series of public embarrassments, including a uncle of the President's wife. The scandal bankrupted two respected companies, nearly caused a collapse on the stock market, and punctured South Korea's reputation as one of the least corrupt nations in East Asia.
As of this writing, there was no word of how many resignations would be accepted.
President Chun, who took office about a year after the 1979 assassination of President Park Chung Hee, faces the task of reestablishing domestic and overseas confidence in his ability to match the anticorruption record of his predecessor. Those with an interest in South Korea's economic performance will also be watching to see how any Cabinet changes affect the influence of the economic ''technocrats'' the President has appointed. Some analysts have seen the cadre as a positive influence on the country's social and economic development.