Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea (SPO) is a governmental prosecutor organization in South Korea and is run under the Ministry of Justice. As a national representative of prosecutors, the Office works with the Supreme Court of South Korea and below. It is sometimes paired as the equivalent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

Prosecution Service
Emblem of the Prosecution Service of Korea.svg
Emblem of the Office. The Hangul characters on the emblem read Geomchal (Prosecution)
Agency overview
HeadquartersSeocho, Seoul, South Korea
Parent agencyMinistry of Justice
Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea
Revised RomanizationGeomchalcheong


It consists of:

  • Supreme Prosecutors' Office (대검찰청)
  • High Prosecutors' Office (고등검찰청)
  • District Prosecutors' Office (지방검찰청)


Since the latter half of the year 2010, the ruling political party in South Korea, the Grand National Party, has an uneasy stance with the budget issues and eventually generated severe disputes relating to corruptions and it contributed to criticisms against the Supreme Prosecutors' Office.[1]

Prosecutor generalEdit

In 2011, a prosecutor general candidate, Han Sang-dae (한상대) was under investigation for his two incidents of false address registration and his participation of draft-dodging.[2]

Civilian inspectionsEdit

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office is alleged for hypocritical actions that it poorly mismanaged the investigation of the illegal political-level inspections towards civilian institutions in 2010, however restricted an episode of MBC PD Note about this incident.[3]

Right-wing political policingEdit

The SPO under the Lee Myung-bak government has right-wing political characteristics. There was a series of allegations of sabotages against the current non-partisan mayor, Park Won-soon, by the SPO before the October 2011 election.[4] Politicians who had supported former president Roh Moo-hyun also supported Park Won-soon under a unified intention to oppose the current SPO.[5] The SPO's investigations against Han Myeong-sook has led to more controversy as the Seoul High Court has found her innocent twice in the row.[6] However, the SPO has immediately appealed the decision, citing 11 different counts of evidence. Amongst them were direct statements by Han man-ho that he paid her 900,000,000 won in illegal fund money, Han Myeong-sook's siblings usage 100,000,000 won checks, and 240,000,000 won in Mrs. Han's bank account that had a 'suspicious trail'. The SPO alleges that Han Myeong-sook's assistant was taking the fall to cover for her illegal activities.[7]

Bribery scandalEdit

On January 13, 2012, the Seoul High Court cleared one of the bribery charges against Han Myeong-sook.[8][9]

Notable incidentsEdit

Sexual favor from the suspectEdit

In November 2012, it was alleged a 30-year-old trainee prosecutor, was found to have performed sexual acts in the office with the suspect in her 40s while questioning her over an alleged theft and other charges earlier that month. According to inspectors at the Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office (SPO) four days later, he took the woman to a nearby motel where they had sex. Jae-mong Jeon, the junior prosecutor, also a patent attorney and a graduate of Seoul National University and Hanyang Law School,[10] claims the sex was consensual, according to investigators.[11] The incident has rocked the Korean Prosecutors Office to the core and resulted in a strong reprimand from the president and prompt resignation of the Chief Prosecutor.

G20 summit poster incidentEdit

There was an incident where a university instructor, Park Jeong-su, vandalized a G-20 promotional poster by drawing a rat before the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. His prosecution by the SPO has exposed concerns that the SPO is politically leaned to serve the Lee Myung-bak government.


Baek Hye-ryun (백혜련), the female district attorney of the Daegu District Public Prosecutor's Office, voluntarily resigned on November 21, 2011 as the SPO cannot officially maintain its political neutrality under the Lee Myung-bak government.[12]

The former chief secretary to late President Roh Moo-hyun, Moon Jae-in suggested that the SPO's resistance against reformations during the previous Participation Government, in which it also succeeded as the spearhead of the right-wing Lee Myung-bak government, eventually contributed to the unjust investigations against Roh in 2009.[13]

Abuse of citizensEdit

On October 26, 2011, the Seoul Central District Court appealed against the SPO for continuing an abusive investigation of a child sex abuse case; demanded the government to compensate the family members of the case in question.[14]


The 47.1% of South Korean disapproved the Supreme Prosecutors' Office and the credibility was scored low at 4 out of 10, According to the survey conducted in 2009.[15] Overall general consensus amongst the Korean media rates the Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea as having very low credibility.

In popular mediaEdit

There have been several Korean series that feature prosecutors as their main characters.


  1. ^ "왜 청와대는 압수수색 안하냐"… 여야 검찰수사에 분노
  2. ^ "Address Fraud and Draft Dodging Committed by Han Sang-dae, Next Prosecutor General?". The Kyunghyang Shinmun. 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  3. ^ ‘검찰 이중성’ 논란… ‘PD수첩’땐 마구 흘리고 ‘靑 사찰 개입’은 감추고
  4. ^ Na (나), Weon-sik (원식) (2011-10-23). 박원순 선대위 "검찰 정치개입 중단하라". 이데일리 (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  5. ^ Kim (김), Do-gyun (도균); Nahm So-yeon (남소연) (2011-10-22). 노무현 죽인 검찰이 또... 박원순은 죽지 않는다. OhMyNews (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  6. ^ Ku (구), Gyo-hyeong (교형) (2011-10-31). 서울시장 후보 기습 수사… 한만호 진술 번복… 검찰 완패. The Kyunghyang Sinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  7. ^ 검찰, 한명숙 판결문 조목조목 반박. The Chosun Daily News (in Korean). 2011-11-01. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  8. ^ "Court again upholds acquittal of ex-prime minister". Yonhap News. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  9. ^ Kim, Rahn (2012-01-13). "Ex-PM Han cleared of bribery charges". Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Senior prosecutor resigns over sex scandal Nov 23,2012
  12. ^ Lee (이), Yeong-gyeong (영경) (2011-11-28). "검찰, 정치 중립 못 지켜" 현직 여검사 전격 사표. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  13. ^ Kim (김), Hyeon-u (현우) (2011-11-21). 노무현 수사는 정치검찰의 복수극이었다. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  14. ^ Hwang (황), Chun-hwa (춘화) (2011-10-26). 법원 "나영이 2차피해 국가배상". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-11-19.
  15. ^ 검찰과 경찰이 ‘꼴찌’ 차지했으니…

External linksEdit