Go to contents

Pres. Lee to Pardon 1.5 Mln People Aug. 15

Posted July. 28, 2009 08:23,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that he will pardon 1.5 million people convicted of crimes primarily to support their livelihoods on Liberation Day Aug. 15.

“The upcoming amnesty will be designed to support the people’s livelihood, including those of farmers, fishermen, the working class, and the self-employed, and those convicted of traffic violations who drive for a living,” he said.

The speech titled “How Are You Doing? I Am Your President” was delivered in the form of an interview and broadcast in the morning on KBS Radio 1, TBS and YouTube.

A presidential official said those eligible for the amnesty include those not involved in driving without a license, car accidents, and fleeing from drunk driving checkpoints among first-time drunk drivers.

On the dispute over the ruling Grand National Party’s railroading of media reform bills through the National Assembly, President Lee said, “Gone is the time when a government can seize broadcasters or media.”

“It would’ve been great if the National Assembly passed the bills through compromise, but if they got approved too late, Korea will lose an opportunity. The approval should not be interpreted politically or ideologically.”

He said, “If broadcasting and communication integrates, many new technologies will emerge. The world is working on this. Korea is in an advantageous position when competing in the world since we have advanced information technology.”

On measures to curb private education, the president said, “So-called good universities into which students want to enter will recruit through admission reviews without college entrance exams, and regional quotas of students from rural areas beginning with the next scholastic year.”

“A considerable number of universities will use this new measure to recruit from the next (educational) year, and I expect the majority of universities to use the admissions officer system in recruiting almost all of their students around the end of my term (scholastic year 2013).”

President Lee also brushed off fears over excessive liquidity in the market due to pump priming measures, saying, “Some are discussing an exit strategy (for excessive market liquidity) but I think such discussion is premature.”