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Lee’s Pragmatism Brings Changes

Posted March. 03, 2008 22:35,   


President Lee Myung-bak continued to show his pragmatism Saturday by breaking with the long-held tradition at the ceremony for the anniversary of the Independence Movement of March 1, 1919.

First gone was the announcement heralding the arrival of the president, saying, “Mr. President is entering!” with a title of honor. President Lee has recently ordered to omit the honorific title on official occasions.

President Lee and the First Lady entered the venue abreast of Kim Kuk-joo, chairman of the Korea Liberation Society. There was no flower-decorated table in front of them. Unlike the common practice in which the president sat separately in the front row, Lee sat with heads of the legislature, the judiciary and the prime minister in the same row. In the platform, there was no emblem of phoenix symbolizing the president.

Another noticeable change was found when the president awarded medals. Contrary to the past practice, the medal winners stood facing the audience while Lee showed his back to the audience. This is in line with President Lee’s conviction that awardees are heroes and heroines of the award ceremony, not awarders.