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Yoon meets minor party leader Cho in public for first time in 5 yrs

May 15, 2024 - 19:43 By Yonhap
Cho Kuk, the leader of the Rebuilding Korea Party, walks in front of President Yoon Suk Yeol during a celebration event held at the Jogye Temple in central Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol exchanged Wednesday somewhat awkward greetings with Cho Kuk, leader of a minor opposition party, in their first public encounter in years after the two became at odds with each other over the investigation into Cho's family.

The brief meeting took place when Yoon was leaving an event held in celebration of Buddha's birthday in central Seoul, where many other key political figures were also present.

Yoon greeted Cho, the leader of the Rebuilding Korea Party, by shaking his hand and there was no conversation between the two, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

"President Yoon said 'nice to see you' to Chairman Cho," a person close to Cho said.

It marked the first time they had met since July 2019, when Yoon met Cho, the then presidential secretary for civil affairs under the preceding Moon Jae-in government, at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, after Yoon was appointed as the prosecutor-general.

The relationship between the two became uncomfortable after Yoon headed an investigation into corruption allegations centering on Cho's wife and his children. Cho was the justice minister at the time.

Cho resigned from his minister post only about a month after taking office. Cho's wife was later convicted and served a prison term.

After Yoon became president, Cho turned to politics and launched his party just before last month's parliamentary elections.

Cho used most of his election campaign to criticize the Yoon government, promising his supporters to push for an impeachment of Yoon. (Yonhap)