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President Roh “Embarrassed” by Deputy Prime Minister’s Resignation

President Roh “Embarrassed” by Deputy Prime Minister’s Resignation

Posted March. 08, 2005 22:42,   


“The deputy prime minister is no longer able to conduct his work because public opinion is against him.”

On March 8, President Roh Moo-hyun said how he felt about the resignation of the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance and economy, Lee Hun-jae, in his “Letter to the Korean People,” published by the “Cheong Wa Dae Briefing,” a newsletter.

President Roh explained why he accepted the deputy prime minister’s resignation in his letter, saying that he had no choice but to accept his resignation and to appoint a successor because leaving such an important post unsettled would impose a heavy burden on the Korean economy.

President Roh commented that he felt ashamed, embarrassed, and like he had lost a general who was being swept away by waves while struggling to catch him.

Roh further stated and refuted some critics who claimed that the president missed proper time for the personnel management, saying “A public official is also a person with a personality and honor that has been accumulated over a lifetime, and that it’s not desirable for the appointing authority to discharge or to transfer unconditionally a person under suspicion”.

Roh also pledged to let the involved departments clarify the suspicions about Deputy Prime Minister Lee, and that if Lee was found accountable for the matter, he would make him assume the responsibility, and if Lee was found to have been mistreated, he would dispel Lee’s mortification.

Regarding the matter, an official of Cheong Wa Dae said that related institutions, including the National Tax Service, are investigating alleged suspicions concerning Lee, and that they would make an announcement on the results of the investigation.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com