NATIONAL

P.M. expresses intent to resign over graft scandal

By 최희석
  • Published : Apr 21, 2015 - 10:33
  • Updated : Apr 21, 2015 - 10:39

The South Korean prime minister submitted his resignation Tuesday to President Park Geun-hye amid accusations that he was a key player in a spiraling graft scandal involving senior Park administration officials.

Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo enters the government complex in Seoul on Monday. Yonhap


Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo’s resignation will be subject to President Park’s approval. The president is expected to make a decision after her return from a tour of Latin America on Monday.

Lee had faced intense media scrutiny and criticism from the opposition for allegedly accepting illegal campaign funds worth 30 million won ($28,000) from the late Sung Woan-jong in the April 2013 by-elections.

Sung, a construction mogul and former lawmaker, claimed that he had handed the money to Lee in a phone interview with a local daily hours before police found him dead on April 9 in an apparent suicide at a mountain in northern Seoul.

Sung had been facing charges of swindling government money from authorities, which he denied.

Sung left a note on his body listing politicians who had accepted illegal campaign funds from him since 2007.

The note sparked public uproar as it apparently divulged the extent of corruption still haunting South Korea, a country that observers had considered as a nation that had come a long way from its military dictatorships that ruled it before a civilian government grabbed power in 1992.

By Jeong Hunny (hj257@heraldcorp.com)