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Pro-government protesters rally in Seoul to support minister

Tens of thousands of government supporters have gathered in South Korea's capital for the fourth straight Saturday to show their support for President Moon Jae-in's justice minister, who's enmeshed in an explosive political scandal that has polarized the nation.

Carrying banners and signs that read "Protect Cho Kuk; Reform the Prosecution," the protesters occupied an avenue in front of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, as they did in previous weeks.

They expressed anger over what they saw as an excessive probe by state prosecutors aimed at intimidating the minister, Cho Kuk, whose plans to reform the country's justice system include curbing prosecutors' powers.

Pro-government supporters shout slogans before a rally supporting Justice Minister, Cho Kuk in front of Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Tens of thousands of government supporters have gathered in South Korea’s capital for the fourth-straight weekend to show their support for President Moon Jae-in’s controversial justice minister who’s enmeshed in explosive political scandal that rocked and polarized the nation. The letters read "Reform the Prosecution" and "Protect Cho Kuk". (AP PhotoLee Jin-man)

Huge crowds calling for Cho's ouster have marched near Seoul's presidential office in recent weeks, demonstrating how the months-long saga has deepened the country's political divide.

A picture of South Korea's Justice Minister, Cho Kuk is seen before a rally supportin Cho in front of Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. The letters read "Reform the Prosecution" and "Protect Cho Kuk". Tens of thousands of government supporters have gathered in South Korea’s capital for the fourth-straight weekend to show their support for President Moon Jae-in’s controversial justice minister who’s enmeshed in explosive political scandal that rocked and polarized the nation.(AP PhotoLee Jin-man)