SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's foreign minister resigned Thursday, a day after President Roh Moo-hyun (search) accused ministry officials of criticizing his foreign policy.
Roh accepted Yoon Young-kwan's (search) resignation, the president's office said without providing other details or indicating who would replace him.
Yoon said at a news conference that there had been "some differences in perspective" between members of his staff and members of Roh's National Security Council.
He said the Foreign Ministry should serve to implement president's policy. He acknowledged people were concerned about remarks reportedly made by his officials and said he took the dispute "heavily" and was "sincerely sorry."
Yonhap news agency quoted Jeong Chan-yong, a personnel affairs staffer for Roh, as saying the foreign minister quit to take responsibility for failing to rein in the criticism by ministry officials.
Yoon's resignation came a day after Roh said he would transfer Foreign Ministry officials who criticized his foreign policy.
The identities of the officials or what they have said have not been disclosed.
Local media reports have said the foreign ministry officials were at odds with Roh over his policy toward the United States, although details of the dispute differ. By some accounts, they criticized Roh's plans to dispatch South Korean troops (search) to the Iraq and his negotiations to relocate U.S. troops currently based in Seoul.
Roh came to power last February promising to stand up to Washington on equal footing, but has since come under fire for what critics say is softening his stance by agreeing to the Iraqi troop dispatch and taking a firmer position in talks over North Korea's nuclear weapons crisis.