Corruption outrages our youth
For young South Koreans, Justice Minister Cho Kuk is a towering symbol of class privilege, said The Hankyoreh. A member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Cho has been accused of myriad offenses, including allegations of shady financial dealings. But what led Korean students to stage protests following his appointment last month is the accusation that Cho used his influence to pad his daughter’s high school résumé to get her into a top medical school. She was named the first author of a medical paper in the Korea Journal of Pathology while still in high school, even though her only medical training was a two-week internship at Dankook University’s institute of medical science. Once in med school, she flunked her exams twice, but managed to keep her place and even receive some $10,000 in scholarships from 2016 to 2018. No wonder ordinary students, who toil over their books for hours to earn good grades, are expressing a sense of “rage and deprivation.” They feel the system is rigged for the elite. “This cut even deeper than lawbreaking by the usual dirty politician,” one student said. “This felt even more hopeless.” Whatever happens to Cho, if this government doesn’t reform the education system to “build a fair ladder,” it will lose the support of young voters.