Democratic Party Seeks Impeachment of Ministers Over Ex-Defense Minister’s Departure

SEOUL — The Democratic Party (DP), South Korea's main opposition faction, announced its intention on Monday to initiate impeachment proceedings against the nation's foreign and justice ministers. The move is a response to the controversial departure of former Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup, who recently left the country to assume his new role as ambassador to Australia amidst an ongoing investigation.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the party argues that the government's decision to allow Lee, who is under investigation for allegedly influencing a probe into a Marine's death last year, to leave South Korea undermines the principles of justice and accountability. The DP contends that appointing an individual under investigation to an ambassadorial position effectively aids in evading legal scrutiny, which they view as an egregious misuse of authority.

During a party meeting, DP floor leader Rep. Hong Ik-pyo criticized the government's actions as a blatant interference with the judicial process and an abuse of executive power. He announced plans for the DP to lodge a formal complaint against both the justice and foreign ministers, alongside other officials implicated in facilitating Lee's departure. The complaint will accuse them of obstructing justice and misusing their positions.

Additionally, the DP is rallying to impeach the implicated ministers, demanding accountability for their roles in what they perceive as a concerted effort to shield a key suspect from investigation. DP leader Lee Jae-myung also called upon President Yoon Suk Yeol to revoke Lee Jong-sup's ambassadorial appointment and ensure his return to South Korea, condemning the situation as indicative of a broader constitutional crisis within the Yoon administration.

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