Published : 2013-12-23 16:03
Updated : 2013-12-23 16:03
President Park Geun-hye said Monday she wants to issue special pardons next month for those convicted of small offenses committed in the course of trying to make a living.
Park ordered her aides to make preparations for the pardons to be issued around Lunar New Year's Day, which falls on Jan. 31, saying she wants to ease difficulties for ordinary people, presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing said.
The planned pardons must be designed to give real benefits to ordinary people and exclude those convicted of corruption and crimes involving influential people, the spokeswoman quoted Park as saying.
Many of the beneficiaries are expected to be traffic violators.
The proposed pardons would mark Park's first. She has been critical of issuing special pardons injudiciously and promised to exercise the right in a strictly restrictive manner.
South Korean presidents have issued pardons to commemorate important holidays. Critics say, however, that the practice hurts the rule of law.
Park also said she will hold a New Year's press conference to outline the agenda and policy directions of her government in the coming year. (Yonhap News)