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South Korean president accepts PM’s resignation

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Lee Wan-koo

Seoul: South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday accepted Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo’s resignation offer after coming back to Seoul earlier in the day from her tour to Latin American nations, media reported.

Lee offered to resign last Monday from the country’s second highest administrative post amid growing suspicion over his involvement in a bribery scandal, Xinhua news agency reported citing Yonhap.

Lee’s resignation came amid allegations that he received 30 million won ($28,000) in bribes from a businessman who killed himself on April 9.


Sung Wan-jong, a former ruling party lawmaker and businessman who ran the now-bankrupt construction firm, left a brief memo that listed eight heavyweight politicians, including Lee and current presidential chief of staff Lee Byung-kee, alongside currency figures.

Prosecutors formed a special team to investigate the scandal, but concerns emerged that Lee as the sitting prime minister might block the probe into his own actions as he receives prosecution reports on how the investigation goes on.

Lee, who took office in February, would become the country’s shortest-serving prime minister in history.

The country’s second highest administrative post turned out to be hard to get and more difficult to maintain.

The first prime ministerial candidate for the Park Geun-hye government withdrew in January 2013 amid controversy over his property speculation and abusing his former post as chief justice of the constitutional court.

Chung Hong-won, the first prime minister under Park, offered to step down after the Sewol ferry disaster, but he maintained the post as two other candidates withdrew amid controversy over their past wrongdoings and wrong perception of history.

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