S. Korean ruling party chief offers to exit amid hacking scandal
|South Korea’s ruling party chairman Hong Joon-pyo speaks at a news conference at the Grand National Party (GNP) headquarters in Seoul on Dec. 9, 2011. South Korea’s ruling party chairman Hong Joon-pyo offered to resign Friday over a cyber attack orchestrated by an aide to one of the conservative party’s lawmakers. (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)|
SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s ruling party chairman Hong Joon-pyo offered to resign Friday over a cyber attack orchestrated by an aide to one of the conservative party’s lawmakers.
"I thought it would be meaningless to keep the post," Hong said at a press conference as he announced his exit.
The move comes after police concluded the distributed denial-of- service (DDoS) attacks on the election watchdog’s website on the day of by-elections in October was masterminded solely a 27-year- old aide to Choi Ku-sik of the ruling Grand National Party.
The aide, surnamed Kong, also admitted to orchestrating a similar cyber attack on the website of Park Won-soon, who was elected Seoul mayor in the Oct. 26 elections.
The hacking shut down both websites for two hours, preventing voters from looking up polling stations on the National Election Commission’s website.
The ruling party has denied its involvement in the incident, but public skepticism has not died down.
Hong’s resignation offer also came two days after three of the party’s Supreme Council members announced they will leave the party, voicing discontent over the party’s failure to shed its image as a party for the haves.
The three reform-minded lawmakers, Won Hee-ryong, Yoo Seong-min and Nam Kyung-pil, said the ruling party should dismantle the establishment and fundamentally refashion itself.
The series of events may bring former chairwoman Park Geun-hye back at the helm of the beleaguered party, as the daughter of former leader Park Chung-hee remains the strongest contender for the 2012 presidential election.
Media reports say Park will most likely head an ad hoc emergency committee to fill the leadership void.
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