Busan medical school voids admission of ex-justice minister's daughter

Busan medical school voids admission of ex-justice minister's daughter

Kim Hong-won, vice president of Pusan National University, announces his school’s decision to nullify Cho Min’s admission to its medical school in 2015 in a news conference in Busan, Aug. 24. Yonhap

Pusan National University (PNU) in this southern port city said Tuesday it has decided to nullify its admission of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s daughter into its medical school in 2015 following her mother’s recent conviction in an academic fraud case.

The state-run university said its decision to cancel Cho Min’s admission to PNU’s Graduate School of Medicine six years ago came after an analysis of an appellate court’s ruling on her mother’s academic fraud charges and an in-house committee’s review of the case.

On Aug. 11, the Seoul High Court upheld a four-year prison sentence for Chung Kyung-sim, Cho Min’s mother, after finding her guilty of all charges related to the unfair college admission of the younger Cho.

Chung was convicted of forging a presidential citation from Dongyang University and getting a false internship certificate to use for her daughter’s admission to the PNU medical school.

The 29-year-old Cho entered Korea University in 2010 and graduated in 2014. She was then admitted to PNU’s medical school in 2015 and is scheduled to graduate this year. After passing the state medical licensing exam earlier this year, she is currently working as an intern at a hospital in the capital area.

PNU said in a news conference that if the information in the application documents is different from the facts, the concerned applicant is supposed to be disqualified under its admission rules.

Kim Hong-won, vice president of PNU, said the admission nullification decision is a preliminary administrative measure under the current law, and a final decision will be made after a hearing procedure over the next two to three months.

He said the administrative measure can be changed if the appellate court’s ruling is overturned by the Supreme Court. Kim added that despite the nullification decision, false documents were not the main factor leading to the younger Cho’s admission to the medical school.

Watchers say Cho’s medical license will likely be revoked if PNU’s admission nullification decision is finalized.

In a related development, Korea University is also reviewing the high court’s verdict to make its own decision on whether to cancel Cho’s admission.

Chung has appealed to the Supreme Court. Her husband, who was a close aide to President Moon Jae-in, resigned as justice minister in October 2019, just one month after taking office. He was later indicted on a dozen charges, including bribery, in connection with his children’s academic credentials and school scholarships. (Yonhap)

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