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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance-Economy Minister Lee Hun-jai Resigns

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance-Economy Minister Lee Hun-jai Resigns

Posted March. 07, 2005 22:34,   


Concurrent Deputy Prime Minister and Finance-Economy Minister Lee Hun-jai, suspected of real estate speculation, resigned on Monday, March 7.

President Roh Moo-hyun accepted Lee’s resignation and instructed Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and Cheong Wa Dae staff members to begin searching for a suitable replacement for the deputy prime minister and Finance-Economy minister position.

Lee’s writing of this matter, starting with the title, “As I resign my position as the deputy prime minister and Finance-Economy minister,” was opened to the public through Kim Kyung-ho, the Finance-Economy Ministry’s public information officer, in which Lee stated, “I have decided to resign, judging that a personal matter leading to controversy and suspicion, such as this matter, will not only burden President Roh’s administration but also not benefit the nation’s economy, which is slowly showing signs of recovery, at all.”

Lee added, stressing, “As I am resigning from my position, I would like to say once more that my wife and I did not speculate in real estate transactions.”

Lee also said, “I am very sorry that in the course of registering real estate in my wife’s name 20 years ago, there were suspicions for expediency. However, there was no such illegality, expediency, or illegal transactions during the real estate sale in October 2003.”

With this, Lee has resigned from the position of deputy prime minister one year after taking office in February of last year.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Jong-min announced, “Many matters have been raised regarding Lee’s course of action, but Cheong Wa Dae has asked for the support of the people and the press. As Lee has expressed his resignation in such a situation, his resignation has been accepted, respecting his inclination.”

Spokesman Kim added, “Vice Finance-Economy Minister Kim Kwang-lim himself came to Cheong Wa Dae around 11:30 a.m. and gave Lee’s letter of resignation to Chief Presidential Secretary Kim Woo-shik, who then reported it to President Roh.”

As for the next deputy prime minister, former Finance-Economy Minister and current Uri Party lawmaker Kang Bong-kyun, Minister of Government Policy Coordination Han Duck-soo, Chairman of Financial Supervisory Commission Yoon Jeung-hyun, and former Presidential Chief Secretary for National Policy Park Bong-heum, are being raised.

Immediately after Lee’s resignation, the stock market swayed for a time, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) falling below the 1,000 mark momentarily.

However, as the rally mentality for the steep decline expanded, the fall in the market decreased and closed at 1,007.50, falling by 5.46 points (0.54 percent) from four days ago.

KOSDAQ index was down 6.58 points (1.31 percent) from last weekend (March 4) to close at 495.32, breaking down the 500 mark in just one day.