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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Korean aide resigns over sexist remarks
Chang Sang celebrates with students
Mr Kim questioned the ability of new PM Chang Sang
The aide of a presidential candidate in South Korea has tendered his resignation over sexist remarks he made about the country's first female prime minister.

Kim Moo-sung, the chief of staff for the opposition Grand National Party's (GNP) Lee Hoi-chang, apologised for the offence he had caused.


It is very disturbing to think that a woman will become a head of state if President Kim cannot carry out his duties

Kim Moo-sung
He is reported to have questioned the ability of the new Prime Minister, Chang Sang, to rule the country if President Kim Dae-jung were incapacitated.

The remarks caused a storm among the feminists in male-dominated South Korea.

"I never meant to despise women. But I am resigning to take responsibility for the controversy caused by my remarks," Mr Kim said on Monday.

He is reported to have told reporters last week: "It is very disturbing to think that a woman will become a head of state if President Kim cannot carry out his duties."

He claimed he had heard US intelligence sources hint that the health of the president was deteriorating and that this was disconcerting given that the new prime minister was a woman and would therefore know nothing about defence.

Opposition campaign

Mr Kim is just one of several GNP lawmakers who are opposed to the nomination of Prime Minister Chang.

The GNP has demanded an inquiry into reports that Ms Chang encouraged her eldest son to seek US nationality in order to avoid mandatory military service, and that she address controversy surrounding a deal she made in real estate in 1988.

It has also accused Ms Chang of misrepresenting her academic background.

The opposition party holds more seats than the ruling party in the national assembly, which needs to ratify Ms Chang's appointment, but it has not said whether it intends to veto her nomination.

See also:

11 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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