opposition-science minister nominee

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) on Tuesday demanded the withdrawal of the science minister nominee over his alleged lack of understanding of the job and a series of ethical lapses.

Choi Mun-kee, a professor at top science university KAIST, was nominated by President Park Geun-hye last month to head the new Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, after an earlier nominee quit amid controversy over his U.S. citizenship.

During a parliamentary confirmation hearing Monday, the 61-year-old faced a barrage of questions from lawmakers about what his new responsibilities as minister would be and allegations of a series of ethical lapses, including speculative land investment.

Lawmakers also demanded an explanation of the term "creative economy," which the new administration has adopted as its key economic principle.

"Choi, who is supposed to serve as the head of the 'creative economy,' didn't understand the basic notion of the term and didn't even understand the responsibilities" of the science ministry, a DUP lawmaker on the parliamentary science committee said in a joint news conference with other DUP members of the committee.

The president should withdraw the nomination or the nominee should resign voluntarily, the lawmakers said.

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