South Korean opposition leader shaves head in protest over government appointment

16 September 2019, 12:13 | Updated: 16 September 2019, 14:50

The leader of the largest opposition party in South Korea has aired his displeasure with the government - by getting his head shaved in public.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, the chairman of the conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP), protested outside Seoul's presidential palace, calling for the country's new justice minister to be fired.

Mr Hwang, along with other members of the LKP and independent members of South Korea's parliament, shaved their heads to protest against President Moon Jae-in's latest political appointment.

Mr Moon recently chose Cho Kuk, a close political ally, to become his minister for justice.

Controversy has surrounded Mr Cho's appointment as his family faces allegations of fraud, which have also stained Mr Moon's reformist image, causing the president's approval ratings to fall.

Earlier this week, police issued formal arrest warrants for a cousin of Mr Cho, who is suspected of rigging stock prices and embezzlement.

Mr Cho's cousin is also suspected of running a private equity firm without registering as the company's chief executive, as well as trying to pressure witnesses into making false statements at Mr Cho's parliamentary confirmation hearings.

The firm, Co-Link Private Equity, operate Blue Core Value-Up, which received funding from Mr Cho's wife, children and brother-in-law, investments worth 1.4 billion won (£948k).

Chung Kyung-shim, Mr Cho's wife, is also due to be summoned by prosecutors, after allegations she gave her brother money to invest in Blue Core Value-Up and then bought stock worth 500 million won (£34k) in Co-Link.

Mr Cho has said he would not be briefed on or command the investigation into his family.