President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday urged far-fetching reform measures to enhance the transparency and political neutrality of the prosecution, also noting a need to check the prosecution by empowering the police with its own authority to launch criminal investigations.
The president also said that some "politically motivated" prosecutors must be held responsible.
"The people want to see a great change in the prosecution, but such a wish must be considered an affection that hopes to see it become an agency trusted by the people, rather than a hostility against the prosecution," the president said, according to his spokesman Park Soo-hyun.
Moon's remarks came in a ceremony held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae to formally appoint the new prosecutor-general Moon Moo-il.
"The prosecution must work to maintain neutrality. The political circle too must stop trying to use the prosecution to its gain, but the prosecution itself must also be determined to maintain neutrality," the president was quoted as saying.
"Should there be an image of a political prosecution that has enjoyed gains through assisting political powers, the prosecution must sincerely reflect on itself and thoroughly make those responsible take responsibility," he added.
Moon also stressed the need to enhance the mechanism of checks and balances between the prosecution and police, partly by empowering the latter with its own authority to launch investigations.
Currently, the police are required to conduct their investigations under the prosecution's supervision.
"Though there need to be discussions for a reasonable adjustment, let's recognize the need for such an adjustment itself and collect ideas through third-party organizations and other measures," Moon told the new prosecutor-general.
Regarding the proposed establishment of a new independent agency to investigate corruption cases involving high-ranking government officials, the president said the agency will oversee not only prosecutors but all ranking officials, including the president himself, according to the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman. (Yonhap News)