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Professors condemn Kookmin University for clearing first lady of plagiarism allegations

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Members of professors' associations condemn Kookmin University for clearing plagiarism allegations against first lady Kim Keon-hee's academic papers during a news conference held at the National Assembly, Friday. Joint Press Corp
Members of professors' associations condemn Kookmin University for clearing plagiarism allegations against first lady Kim Keon-hee's academic papers during a news conference held at the National Assembly, Friday. Joint Press Corp

By Lee Hae-rin

Several associations of the country's university professors condemned Kookmin University for clearing first lady Kim Keon-hee of allegations that she had plagiarized some of her academic papers, urging the university to reveal the details of the investigation.

A total of 13 associations, including the Korean Association of Private University Professors, and the Korea Federation of National University Professor Associations, held a press conference at the National Assembly, Friday, to denounce the university's decision earlier this week. They criticized Kookmin University for officially judging against Kim's plagiarism allegations while admitting her papers do not indicate some references to others' research and writings while using their words.

"It's like saying stealing is different from theft ― a figurative contradiction to the extreme," they said, pointing out that all three academic papers that Kim had presented during her doctoral course face plagiarism allegations.

Also, Kim's 2007 paper, which has been criticized for having an incomprehensible use of Romanized Korean words, yields a 43 percent score on the plagiarism index on a checker program, they said.

The group said Kim's dissertation has "considerable portions of passages copied from a media article" and condemned Kookmin University for calling them free of the allegations after almost one year of investigation.

The associations urged Kookmin University to reveal the details of its investigation that cleared the plagiarism allegations and to deprive Kim of her doctoral degree. Also, the Ministry of Education should reinvestigate the case and its minister Park Soon-ae should step down, the group said.

The group claimed that Yoon is partially responsible for "neglecting such chaos within the Education Ministry" and called upon the president and his wife Kim to make an official statement about the issue.


Lee Hae-rin lhr@koreatimes.co.kr


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