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|Wednesday, May 23, 2001, updated at 14:08(GMT+8)|
South Korean Justice Minister ResignsAfter just two days on the job, South Korea's justice minister quit Wednesday in a controversy over a draft of his inaugural speech.
The resignation of Minister Ahn Dong-soo was a blow to the government of President Kim Dae-jung, whose popularity has waned because of policy stumbles and political controversies.
The flap over Ahn, a noted human rights lawyer, erupted when his office faxed a draft of his inaugural speech to reporters Monday. In the document, Ahn said he "swears loyalty with a determination to sacrifice my life to help the Kim Dae-jung administration take power again."
Ahn disavowed any knowledge of the draft, and did not make such remarks in his inaugural speech. His secretary said the draft was written by another lawyer in Ahn's office.
But opposition leaders demanded his resignation, saying the new minister put personal and political loyalty to the president ahead of his duties to the people.
The draft contains several controversial expressions that were exclusively used by old Korean royal court officials or servants to address their kings.
A new justice minister will be announced soon, said chief presidential spokesman Park Joon-young.
Ahn, who defended dissidents under past military-backed governments in the 1970s and 1980s, is a member of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party.
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