Daughter of Former South Korean Minister of Justice, Fined for Exam Irregularities Despite Appeals for Remorse | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Daughter of Former South Korean Minister of Justice, Fined for Exam Irregularities Despite Appeals for Remorse

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Former Minister of Justice’s daughter, Cho Min, who had been known for her reckless behavior, suddenly started exhibiting commendable conduct. (PHOTO: Kyodo News)

“I have no recollection.”

“I don’t remember.”

According to various South Korean media outlets such as the ‘Chosun Ilbo,’ the woman who appeared as a witness in court repeated the phrase “I have no recollection” for over an hour during cross-examination.

The trial of the former Secretary-General of the Seoul National University Public Interest and Human Rights Center, who is accused of perjury in connection with her mother’s university entrance exam cheating scandal. Cho Min, the daughter of former Minister of Justice Cho Guk (equivalent to Japan’s Minister of Justice), continued to evade the prosecution’s questions during her testimony on March 14. Cho herself is also a defendant, charged with crimes such as obstruction of business and falsifying public documents.

“Cho is alleged to have provided false information on confirmation documents when applying to Seoul National University and the medical school of Pusan National University. On March 22, the Seoul Central District Court determined that she had obstructed the fairness of the entrance exam and caused public distrust and sentenced Cho to a fine of 10 million won (approximately 1.1 million yen).” (Seoul correspondent)

In an attempt to avoid a guilty verdict, Cho has been making fervent appeals for remorse, such as donating funds to disaster-stricken areas. ‘FRIDAY Digital’ extensively reported on a series of troubles involving Cho, who was a topic of online discussion for being “beautiful,” in an article published on August 24, 2023. Let’s revisit the incident that drew attention in South Korean society (with some modifications to the content).

Prosecution just before the statute of limitations ran out


The fervent appeals for remorse just before the statute of limitations didn’t yield any results.

Ms. Cho, the daughter of Cho Kuk, who served as Minister of Justice in the Moon Jae-in administration in South Korea, was indicted on August 10, 2023, for charges including falsifying public documents and obstruction of business. Cho is accused of submitting forged self-introduction letters and internship confirmation letters when she applied to the Seoul National University Medical School in June 2013. She allegedly obstructed the entrance examination process and passed the document screening.

“Ms. Cho’s father, Cho Kuk, was dubbed the Onion Man because one after another, irregularities emerged shortly after he was nominated as a candidate for the Minister of Justice. In February 2023, he was sentenced to two years in prison for the illegal admission of his son and others. His mother, a former professor at Dongyang University, was also sentenced to four years in prison by the Supreme Court of Korea in January 2022 for conspiring in her daughter’s fraudulent admission.

Ms. Cho herself finally passed the final examination for Pusan National University Medical School in June 2014. However, the prosecution, which had been investigating her parents’ suspicions, decided to indict her, stating that she not only benefited from the university admission but also played a leading role in the crimes. It was an indictment at home just before the statute of limitations expired.” (South Korean newspaper reporter)



Former Justice Minister Cho was convicted of two years in prison.

Initially, Cho attempted to defend herself against the authorities’ actions, stating on her Instagram, among other platforms, that she had studied diligently as a doctor for about 10 years and that she was feeling frustrated. However, she also debuted as a singer under the name “Minin” and posted videos driving a foreign car, which she referred to as a friend’s car, showcasing a reckless demeanor. While she became a topic of discussion online for being beautiful. Her actions raised criticism from lawyers who questioned the appropriateness of posting videos of driving a foreign car during a period when suspicions were arising.

However, there was a noticeable change in her attitude, perhaps after sensing the impending indictment.

“With her parents receiving guilty verdicts and negative situations continuing in the family, such as her brother relinquishing his master’s degree from the university he attended, Cho likely thought, ‘This can’t continue like this.’ Regarding the songs she released as a singer, she announced on Instagram that she would donate the received royalty income to appropriate places.

But her commendable attitude doesn’t end there. In July 2023, amid the heavy rains that struck South Korea, she posted, ‘I donated 1 million won (about 110,000 yen) to the victims.’ Following the indictment, she stated that she would act sincerely in court and humbly follow any responsibilities. While there may have been a desire to avoid appearing in court, after the decision to indict, she might be continuing her commendable behavior in anticipation of a lighter sentence.” (Same source)

The successive scandals involving the former Minister of Justice’s family have greatly shaken South Korean society, and their repercussions continue to be felt to this day.


Convicted criminal Cho (from her video channel)
Cho Min’s mother, who was convicted like her husband
  • PHOTO Kyodo News Reuters/Afro Lee Jae-Won/Afro

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