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“I Want to Work: No More Bickering Please.”

Posted August. 16, 2007 07:19,   


Former Seoul mayor and Grand National Party (GNP) presidential hopeful Lee Myung-bak headed straight to Cheonggyecheon after he returned to Seoul from Busan, where he attended an event celebrating the Liberation Day of Korea on Wednesday. He was to join an event organized by various civic groups to distribute the Korean flags for free to citizens.

Lee walked to Cheonggye Square without any hesitation after his car was parked about 100 meters away from the place where the event was scheduled to be held. He seemed to reminisce over his days as the city’s mayor as he placed his hand on the stairs designed to protect pedestrians, saying, “It’s been a long time since I was here.” When visitors to Cheonggyecheon spotted Lee, they took out their cameras exclaiming, “Lee Myung-bak’s here!”

Excited by the visitors’ welcoming gestures, Lee walked down to the Cheonggyecheon walk and shook hands with the citizens. Looking at Lee beaming with friendliness while taking pictures with the visitors, Lee’s chief of staff Joo Ho-yeong said, “He looks the happiest now in recent months.”

At a time when the prosecution released the results of their investigation into the presidential hopeful’s allegations regarding his wealth, Lee seemed satisfied with his visit to Cheonggyecheon, regarded as his best achievement as Seoul Mayor. He is hoping to reinforce his image as the nation’s “economic leader” and a “hard-working president” prior to the party’s primary.

After the distribution event was over, Lee attended a free discussion with university students who are members of “i-bait.com” web magazine held in a nearby pub. He constantly said, “I have had enough of political bickering. We must talk about the future now.”

When the students asked what it feels like to run for the primary, he replied that Korean political circles are still haunted by the past and that he wanted to get away from the political bickering, implicitly criticizing his rival candidate Park Geun-hye.

Regarding the second inter-Korean summit, he said, “The summit should deal with issues of our people’s interest.” Indicating that President Roh lacks experience relative to North Korean leader Kim, he remarked that the president should be as prepared as he can for the upcoming event.