Ministry to nullify passport of ex-military commander over martial law scandal

SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s foreign ministry has begun the process of invalidating the passport of a former military commander involved in a recent martial law scandal who has stayed abroad for months, a government official said Tuesday.

A team of investigators secured an arrest warrant late last month against Cho Hyun-chun, who led the now-defunct Defense Security Command (DSC) when it documented a martial law scenario to control potential public unrest in 2016. Months of street candlelight vigils by many people led to the impeachment of then-President Park Geun-hye at the time.

Cho retired in September last year and left for the United States three months later. He has not come back to South Korea amid a probe into who masterminded the martial law plan, which ruling party lawmakers view as a de facto coup attempt.

“A procedure to send a letter requesting (Cho) return his passport has started,” the foreign ministry’s spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said at a press briefing.

Given previous cases, however, it may take longer than expected, as it will take some time to locate him, he added.

It’s the first step in work to nullify the passport.

In early September, the military replaced the scandal-prone DSC with a smaller-staffed organization named the Defense Security Support Command (DSSC).

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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