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Gangwon Province Gov. Lee Kwang-jae Reinstated

Posted September. 03, 2010 13:30,   


Reinstated Gangwon Province Gov. Lee Kwang-jae said Thursday that he will devote himself to the province to meet the expectations of Gangwon residents.

Returning to office after being suspended following his July 1 inauguration due to a bribery conviction, he told a news conference about his feelings and his policy directions.

“The suspension period was very tough,” he said, adding the support of Gangwon residents helped him to endure difficulties. He recalled the victory of the main opposition Democratic Party in two of the province’s three electoral districts in the July 28 by-elections and the participation of some 300,000 people in a signature-collecting campaign for his reinstatement.

The Constitutional Court ruled as unconstitutional Thursday a law barring convicted heads of municipal and provincial governments from doing their duty until the Supreme Court makes a ruling.

After his inauguration, Lee was suspended from taking office as a court sentenced him to a suspended six-month prison sentence and a fine for taking bribes from two businessmen.

He pledged to devote himself to Gangwon’s renewed bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County. He will visit central government ministries to ask for budgetary support for railroad construction necessary for the bid.

“I will visit the 2018 Winter Olympics bidding committee soon to check the bid’s status and discuss bidding strategies,” Lee said. “I’ll do my best so that we can shed tears of joy on July 6, 2011, when the host country will be announced.”

Lee also spoke of the “Hope Rail Project,” which seeks to turn Gangwon Province into a transportation hub for the Asian continent. The project involves building a railroad linking Korea’s largest port city of Busan, the eastern port city of Sokcho, Vladivostok, Berlin and Amsterdam.

He said he will tour the course with governors of other provinces and will talk with youth leaders from China to form a Northeast Asian agenda.

Lee said he will seek to end the era of a “passive” Gangwon and create hope and a vision for the province. In addition, he expressed his hope for acquittal by the Supreme Court, saying the Constitutional Court’s quick decision is “proof of hope.”