The head of South Korea’s army, Gen Hwang Eui-don, has resigned following media reports that linked him to a financial scandal involving a property investment.
The resignation comes amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island last month. Hwang was promoted to the army’s chief of staff only months ago, in June. His resignation is a further blow to the South’s military.
Allegations that he profited from changes to property regulations have been widely reported in South Korea. “He judged it was inappropriate for him to stay on the post at a time when he has to lead the reform of the army,” Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed ministry of defence official as saying.
Gen Hwang is suspected of buying a property in Seoul in 2002 with advance knowledge that building restrictions would soon be eased – an allegation that the general has denied, maintaining he had no knowledge of the impending changes.