Posted July. 30, 2010 11:31,
Prime Minister Chung Un-chan made an official announcement to step down Thursday, saying Korean politics is too tough.
President Lee Myung-bak reportedly decided to accept his resignation and the presidential office began steps to recruit Chungs replacement.
A Cabinet reshuffle is expected around August 9-10 after President Lee will return from summer vacation.
In a speech to the people, Chung said, With the conclusion of key political schedules, I think the environment and occasion have been prepared for the president to start anew in the second half of his term. I judge that now is the last chance to tender my resignation as a responsible civil servant.
I will continue to carry out my minimum responsibilities until the next prime minister is chosen to prevent any vacuum in state administration, he added, hinting at staying on until he exercises his right to approve new Cabinet members in a reshuffle.
I`ve remained prime minister though I`ve repeatedly expressed my intent to resign because of the need to establish law and order in the administration of the government amid political schedules, including the June 2 local elections and July 28 by-elections.
Chung has conveyed his intent to step down to the president three times, including on the day after the ruling Grand National Party suffered a humiliating loss in the local elections.
I did my best to righteously establish principles in the operation of the nation, console people in difficult situations, and lighten up the dark side of our society. But these past 10 months have been such a short period, and Koreas political landscape is too harsh.
He said, That the administration failed to push through the revised bill to the Sejong City Act is not only a cause of personal regret but induces guilt within me for failing to prevent the waste of national energy and confusion expected in the future, adding, However, I take with me all of the responsibility and blame as I leave.
Presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung quoted President Lee as saying, I will adequately consider a reshuffle plan over my summer vacation before announcing it afterwards, after being briefed on Chungs resignation announcement.
The spokeswoman said, Now that the by-elections are over, President Lee will start from a zero base (square one) in reviewing (the selection of new Cabinet members), adding, He will adequately consider a reshuffle plan over his vacation before making an announcement.