epa04220092 A picture made available on 23 May 2014 shows the new nominated South Korean Prime Minister Ahn Dae-hee, a former Supreme Court justice, speaking during a news conference at the Central Government Building in Seoul, South Korea, 22 May 2014. Ahn, 59, nominated by the South Korean President Park Geun-hye on 22 May to replace outgoing Premier Chung Hong-won pledged to 'stamp out evils accumulated over decades and push for reform.' He said, 'I will sacrifice all my personal life and work hard to remove abnormal practices, root out irregularities and corruption so as to renovate the bureaucracy and firm up the basic framework of the country and society.' EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT / YONHAP EPA
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's president has decided to retain the country's current prime minister after two possible replacements for the job both abandoned their nominations because of questions over past behavior.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won had offered to step down after April's deadly ferry disaster caused an outburst of public anger toward the government.
Senior presidential official Yoon Doo-hyun said Thursday that Park has now rejected Chung's resignation offer and asked him to stay on the job.
Then announcement came two days after Park's second choice for the job withdrew his name amid criticism over pro-Japanese remarks he allegedly made. Park's first pick for the post quit over alleged ethical lapses.
The withdrawals were considered political setbacks to Park. The ferry sinking left more than 300 people dead or missing.
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