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New Premier Lee Han-dong Calls for Reform and Repair

June 30,2000
"I will do my best to resolve problematic national issues such as exchange between South and North Korea, economic restructuring, and welfare," vowed newly appointed Prime Minister Lee Han-dong on June 30.

At his inauguration press conference at the Central Government Complex, Lee Han-dong commented that he hadn't discussed a cabinet reshuffle with President Kim Dae-jung. Lee defended his decision to accept the post following calls for him to resign, saying, "It would have been difficult for me to resign the post as prime minister considering the problems within the United Liberal Democrats (ULD)."

On the issue of recovering the alliance between the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the ULD, Lee Han-dong said, "President Kim Dae-jung & ULD president Kim Jong-pil should meet and negotiate to restore party relations." But he dismissed questions about the unification of the two parties as "inappropriate."

With regard to his standing support for successive terms of presidency (with a maximum eight years in office) at his appointment hearing, Lee said, "This was only a suggestion for the improvement of the current presidential system. Ultimately I still support the ULD proposal for a cabinet government."





by Koh Jeong-ae




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