UPDATE : 2018.4.20 FRI 16:41
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Ruling camp reiterates vow to establish agency probing corruption involving senior officials

The ruling party and the government on Monday renewed their commitment to establishing an independent agency that would probe corruption involving senior officials and their families.

The reaffirmation at a policy meeting came amid apparent tensions between them and the prosecution over a widening probe into a graft scandal that has led to the resignation of President Moon Jae-in's senior secretary for political affairs.

"During today's meeting, we once again reaffirmed that the establishment of the agency must be realized, as it is a demand from the candlelight revolution," Kim Tae-nyeon, the Democratic Party's policy chief, told reporters.

This photo, taken Nov. 17, 2017, shows Kim Tae-nyeon (2nd from L), the policy chief of the ruling Democratic Party, speaking during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)

He was referring to nearly six months of massive candlelight protests that led to the March ousting of then-President Park Geun-hye over corruption allegations.

Kim added that the agency would be an institution to keep in check those in power, including the president, and a tool to reform the prosecution that critics say has wielded too much power and often been politically skewed.

The independent investigation agency is one of Moon's priority campaign pledges to curb graft and irregularities among high-level officials, including top government officials, lawmakers, prosecutors and judges.

Signs of tensions between the ruling camp and prosecution were detected as the prosecution accelerated a probe into the scandal involving two former aides of Jun Byung-hun, the former senior presidential secretary for political affairs.

Jun's former aides are suspected of pressuring a local home shopping channel in 2015 to donate 300 million won (US$271,400) to the Korea e-Sports Association, then chaired by Jun. Jun denies any wrongdoing.

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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