Wife of ex-justice minister diagnosed with brain tumor

October 15, 2019
This file photo shows former Justice Minister Cho Kuk. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows former Justice Minister Cho Kuk. (Yonhap)

The wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk has been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and cerebral infarction, her legal representatives said Tuesday.

Recent MRI tests showed that Cho’s wife, a professor surnamed Chung, is suffering from the brain disease, according to her lawyers.

“We are currently checking the degree of severity,” the legal team said.

Chung is under a prosecution probe into allegations that she forged a school award to help her daughter enter medical school and was involved in the management of a private equity fund.

On Monday, she asked the prosecution to suspend the investigation, citing health problems, after the news came out that her husband offered to resign.

In a statement on his decision to quit, Cho mentioned his wife’s health and said he’d like to be with his family who are going through the “most difficult and painful time” of their lives.

Chung’s lawyers earlier said she has been experiencing severe headaches and dizziness since 2004, when she sustained a skull fracture after she fell off a building while trying to escape from a robbery in Britain, where she was studying.

It has not been determined yet whether the latest diagnosis of the brain tumor is related to her previous brain injury.

The prosecution said its investigation will continue and won’t be affected by Cho’s resignation.

In early September, Chung was indicted on alleged forgery of a college presidential citation to help her daughter gain admission to medical school.

Cho has returned to a professor job at Seoul National University School of Law, drawing criticism from some alumni of the university.

Cho applied for the resumption of his teaching at the school on Monday and its authorities have approved the request, according a university official.

He’s back to work as of Tuesday, the official added.

Under legislation on public education officials, which affects the faculty of the state university, professors are allowed to take time off while serving government posts, and return to work after quitting.

More than 20 messages opposing Cho’s return to work have been posted on the university’s alumni website, with hundreds of similar replies attached.