November 23, 2023
SEOUL – As the April 2024 general election approaches, a crowded field of well-known names and familiar faces is anticipated to vie for a National Assembly seat.
Minister of Justice Han Dong-hoon is widely considered a powerful card to play in the ruling People Power Party’s deck in the upcoming election, according to news reports and observers.
Before he was appointed minister in President Yoon Suk Yeol’s Cabinet, Han was a celebrated prosecutor who led criminal investigations into corruption scandals surrounding two former presidents, Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak.
Over the weekend, the minister’s trip to Daegu, the heart of the conservative party’s base, further fanned speculations of his possible bid in the Assembly.
Another from Yoon’s Cabinet rumored to launch a bid is Minister of Land Won Hee-ryong, a Jeju native who served as the governor of the traditionally Democratic Party-leaning island.
Won, one of only two conservative governors for the southernmost island, earned fame outside Jeju for running in the People Power Party primary for the 2022 presidential election.
Cho Kuk, who was justice minister for previous President Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party, has hinted at a possible Assembly run.
Cho is a defendant in criminal cases involving his children’s fraudulent admissions into prestigious schools and his role in the cover up of an investigation into a close associate of then-President Moon.
His wife Chung Kyung-shim was sentenced to four years in jail over the school admissions scandal and his daughter, Cho Min, had her admission to the medical school she attended revoked.
Moon’s director of National Intelligence Service, Park Jie-won, has announced his decision to run in next year’s general election.
In a rare move, the NIS filed a criminal complaint against Park last year over his alleged destruction of confidential records related to North Korea’s killing of a South Korean public servant in 2020.