S Korean foreign minister in scandal offers to quit

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan is accused of nepotism.

Seoul: South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan has offered to resign over his ministry`s controversial hiring of his daughter, an official said on Saturday.

Yu made his offer to President Lee Myung-bak after he was accused of nepotism when his daughter was handed a midlevel post handling free trade affairs in his ministry.

Presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung confirmed that Lee was informed of the resignation offer, but she did not say whether the President will accept it.

Yu said he was "sorry to have caused trouble to the public”, over his daughter`s hiring, his spokesman said, according to Yonhap news agency. The Foreign Ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Lee, who has ordered a thorough audit into possible rigging of the hiring process, will likely accept the resignation offer, Yonhap said, citing an unidentified presidential official.

The resignation offer comes at a crucial time for South Korea as it is preparing to host the summit of the Group of 20 rich and developing economies in November.

It also comes amid diplomatic efforts mainly by China and North Korea to restart stalled talks aimed at ending North Korea`s nuclear weapons programs.

Bureau Report