Another plagiarism scandal hit Education Minister-designate Kim Myung-soo Friday, as an opposition lawmaker accused him of copying a colleague's paper to write his thesis.
For his 2002 article on how to improve treatment of education workers, Kim is believed to have borrowed significantly from a 2000 paper on the same issue without citing the source, according to Rep. Yoo Eun-hae of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy.
The article helped Kim land a full professorship at the university.
Kim, a former professor of Korea National University of Education, is already embroiled in a series of plagiarism scandals, including suspicions that one of his published articles had been written by a student.
Last week, Yoo raised the allegation that Kim slightly modified his doctoral dissertation and submitted it as one of his key achievements during his tenure as an assistant professor at the university. The thesis was instrumental in Kim being offered the job of associate professor.
His supposed acts of misconduct are expected to touch off further debate about whether the already hotly disputed nominee is qualified to serve as education minister. "Far from being appointed minister, he should be subject to investigation from the authorities," said Yoo.
Kim is also suspected of falsifying his work experience. His resume says that he worked as a "temporary lecturer" at Seoul National University in the early 1980s, while SNU confirmed that he was merely a teaching assistant.
The minister-designate told a local daily on Friday that he did not actually hold a teaching post at the time, but said he did not lie as the school called senior assistants temporary lecturers back then.
SNU currently does not have temporary lecturer posts, and the school said it cannot confirm whether such a post ever existed.
Accusations of misdeeds and Kim's ultraconservative views have led progressive educators across the country to demand his resignation. The left-leaning Korean Teachers and Education Workers has been publicly demanding that President Park Geun-hye withdraw the nomination since the day she made the controversial pick last month.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)