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Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong Declares His Stay-on

Posted September. 07, 2001 08:29,   


Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong, who is also the president of the United Liberal Democrats, declared that he would stay on his office even though the coalition of the New Millennium Democratic Party and the United Liberal Democrats broke down.

Therefore, President Kim Dae-Jung turned down the Prime Minster`s resignation that the Prime Minister had presented it right after the congressional approval of the dismissal preposition for Unification Minister Im Dong-Won on Sep 4.

Park Joon-Yong, the spokesperson of Chong Wa Dae, remarked that ``President Kim decided to keep Prime Minister Lee on his office for the stability and the continuity of the national administration and for the continuing move toward the reformation and the inter-Korean cooperation. The Prime Minister showed his outstanding leadership on these jobs.``

In the announcement by spokesperson Kim Deok-Bong, Prime Minister Lee said, ``Considering the sincere request of the President to stay on, I decided to follow the President`s request. I think that`s the best way for a high official.``

Concerning the relationship with the United Liberal Democrats, the Prime Minister said that he would not leave the party but will do his best for the party as a member. However, he does not have a plan to meet the honorary president Kim Jong-Pil.

Consequently, the relationship between NMDP and ULD is expected to get worse.

President Kim will reshuffle 5-6 Ministers of the cabinet through the recommendation of the Prime Minister on Sep. 7 and will re-organize the high officials of NMDP and Cheong Wa Dae by Sep. 10.

By this reshuffle of the cabinet, the Unification Minister and the three Ministers from ULD including Han Gap-Soo the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Kim Yong-Chae the Minister of Construction and Transportation, Jung Wu-Taek the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will certainly change and Kim Ho-Jin the Labor Minister is also considered for replacement.

Spokesperson Park said, ``the specialty and the will to reformation will be considered first of all at this cabinet reshuffle. The positions of the ministers are to be elected evenly by the regions. Considering the National Assembly is now on session, 5-6 Ministers will be replaced.``

Concerning the chairperson of NMDP, Mr. Park remarked that the President is confident that ``the new chairperson should be the one who will not run for the next presidential election.``

Yun Seung-Mo ysmo@donga.com