6 in 10 people say PM nominee’s hefty salary at law firm ‘inappropriate’

Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo heads to his office in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo heads to his office in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Six in 10 South Koreans think Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo taking hefty salaries during his stint at a law firm following his public service retirement is inappropriate, a poll showed Monday.

In the Korea Society Opinion Institute survey of 1,013 adults, 63.2 percent said it is inappropriate for high-ranking government officials like Han to serve as outside directors or advisers to private companies after their retirement from public service.

Only 17.6 percent said such a practice is appropriate, while 19.2 percent said they do not know the issue.

Han, who has held a number of high positions in government, including prime minister and finance minister, came under fire for possible conflict of interest following revelations he received a total of about 1.8 billion won ($1.46 million) from December 2017-2022 as an adviser to law firm Kim & Chang.

Asked whether Han is fit for prime minister of the incoming government, people were almost evenly divided as 35.3 percent said he is fit for the country’s No. 2 job, while 35.2 percent answered the opposite.

Meanwhile, on expectations of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s performance over the next five years, 48.4 percent said he will do a good job after taking office, while 47.5 percent said they do not expect him to do well.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. (Yonhap)

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