South Korea’s ex-President Park Geun-hye illegally pushed for state-authored history textbooks

SEOUL, March 28 (UPI) — South Korea’s impeached ex-President Park Geun-hye and officials under her government were found to have illegally intervened in the push to adopt state-authored history textbooks.

A government fact-finding committee on the controversial state-issued textbooks on Wednesday revealed the result of their seven-month probe, deeming the former Park administration’s involvement “unconstitutional” and “illegal.”

The disgraced ex-leader, in 2015, pushed for schools to adopt government-authored history textbooks, claiming that some of the books in use had left-leaning contents.

However, the state-drafted version under her government sparked controversy from critics who said the contents glorified the dictatorial rule of her father Park Chung-hee.

Plans to issue the book were scrapped within the first month of the new Moon administration and a probe team was launched to uncover any breach of law or misconduct by the previous administration.

The results found that the ex-president herself, as well as former presidential officials Kim Ki-choon and Lee Byung-kee, issued orders to the education ministry, in the process of seeking to issue the state-authored books, Yonhap reported.

The probe committee said the presidential office under the ousted leader had planned and determined the entire process, mobilizing the ruling party, the education ministry, and other related bodies.

It called for a state investigation on some 20 people involved in the affair, over suspected abuse of power, violation of laws on civil servants as well as embezzlement.

The panel also requested the education minister to take disciplinary measures against 10 officials within the ministry, KBS reported.