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Top prosecutor sues daily over love child report


SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- The nation's top prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the Chosun Ilbo on Tuesday demanding the daily issue a correction for reporting that he has an illegitimate son.

The conservative media outlet published an article on Sept. 6 alleging that Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook fathered a son through an extramarital affair in 2002.

A week later, Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn ordered the ministry to "reveal the truth," prompting Chae to tender a resignation. President Park Geun-hye has yet to accept his resignation.

According to the suit filed with the Seoul Central District Court, the chief prosecutor argued that the report was "100 percent false."

Chae further demanded that the Chosun Ilbo pay him 10 million won (US$9,300) a day if it does not publish the correction within five days of the verdict.

Chae, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, once again emphasized that he will make efforts to reveal the truth.

"I will make every effort such as taking a DNA test so that the truth can be revealed as soon as possible," Chae said in a statement.

The chief prosecutor also asked the boy reported to be his son to take a DNA test as well.

Chae once again confirmed that he will resign, saying that while he denies the allegations, they still would make it difficult for him to carry out his duties as chief prosecutor.

"I believe that it would be difficult to return as a prosecutor general even if I clear my name with the result of the inspection by the justice ministry," Chae said.

The planned formal inspection into Chae has not yet been carried out by the ministry, an official said.

A nine-member independent committee, including eight veteran lawyers, is currently reviewing whether the inspection is needed and soon will report the result directly to Justice Minister Hwang, the official added.

Justice Minister Hwang's order, the first of its kind regarding an incumbent top prosecutor, came amid the prosecution's full-fledged investigation into an election meddling scandal.

The scandal centers around allegations that the state-run National Intelligence Service attempted to influence last December's presidential election in favor of the ruling party.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and some critics argue that Chae has been forced to quit for aggressively pursuing the probe. They further claim that Chae's departure is part of an attempt to blunt the probe.

President Park, during a meeting with the DP chief last week, flatly dismissed the allegations, saying the case is only about his ethical standards.

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