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Pres. Lee, Chief Rival Discuss ‘Retaining Power’

Posted August. 23, 2010 08:24,   


President Lee Myung-bak and former ruling Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye held a closed luncheon at the presidential office Saturday.

The two sides reportedly held in-depth discussion about the incumbent government’s success and the ruling party’s “retention of power.”

The two met from 11:55 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the presidential office Saturday without accompanying aides on both sides.

In publicizing the encounter, Chung Jin-suk, President Lee`s senior secretary for political affairs, told reporters Sunday, “President Lee told his aides that it would be better for former Chairwoman Park to make the meeting known when the time is right.”

Rep. Lee Jung-hyun, a de facto spokesman for Park, told The Dong-A Ilbo Sunday, "The two people exchanged views on domestic issues, including global circumstances surrounding the Korean Peninsula and economic matters.

“They agreed that the Grand National Party should win public trust, ensure the success of the Lee administration, retain power (in the 2012 presidential election), and for party members to work together toward that goal.”

As such, analysts say the two sides held frank talks over the orientation of the administration in the second half of President Lee’s term and the ruling party’s retention of control.

A ruling camp insider said the president is believed to have declared his intent to “maintain neutrality” at an intra-party election to select the party’s presidential candidate by indicating that he will not seek to name a successor.

Saturday’s meeting was the fifth between President Lee and Park since the former won the presidential election in 2007 and the first in 11 months since September last year, when Park visited Europe as President Lee’s special envoy and reported the results of her tour.