<font color="maroon" size=2><b>[Breaking News]</b></font><br>Prime minister steps down

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[Breaking News]
Prime minister steps down

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Prime Minister Chun Un-chan told the nation today he will step down from his post, ending a turbulent 10-month term marred by a failed attempt to revise the Sejong City development program.

"A series of major political events has concluded with the July 28 by-elections, and I believe a clean slate has been prepared for the president to start the second half of his term," Chung said in a press conference televised live. "As a responsible public servant, I decided now is the opportunity to make public my intention to resign."

Chung candidly recalled the failures and achievements of his term.

"Ten months were too short to accomplish what I had aimed for, and Korea's political landscape was too rough," Chung said, expressing regret over failed education reform.

"Above all, a revised blueprint for the Sejong City was created for the long-term future of the nation, but I failed to accomplish it," Chung said. "It is not only a matter of personal regret, but also a matter of remorse that I had failed to prevent the expected confusion and the waste of the national energy in the future (by moving government offices out of Seoul)."

Chung said his proudest achievement was settling the dispute over the Yongsan fire, which claimed six lives (including one SWAT officer) during evictions from a redevelopment site. In December 2009, Chung issued a statement expressing deep regret as prime minister over the tragedy in which five protesters and evictees were killed.

Chung said he will perform his duties until a successor is named to make sure there is no vacuum in the government.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article

정총리 `우리나라 정치지형 너무 험난했다`

국무총리직 사임 공식발표


정운찬 총리는 29일 국무총리직 사퇴 의사를 공식 발표했다.

정 총리는 이날 오후 세종로 정부중앙청사에서 기자회견을 갖고 '국민여러분께 드리는 말씀'을 통해 "여러번의 사의표명 이후에도 총리직을 지킨 이유는 6.2 지방선거부터 7.28 재보선에 이르는 일련의 정치일정 속에서 정부의 근무기강을 확립하고 국정의 중심을 잡아야 할 필요가 있었기 때문"이라며 사임 의사를 밝혔다.

정 총리는 이어 "주요 정치일정이 일단락되면서 대통령께서 집권 후반기를 새롭게 시작할 수 있는 여건과 계기가 마련됐다고 생각한다"며 "따라서 지금이 국가의 책임있는 공복으로서 사임의 마지막 기회라고 판단했다"고 밝혔다.

그는 특히 "국가 백년대계를 위해 세종시 수정안을 마련했지만 이를 관철하지 못한 점은 개인적인 아쉬움을 넘어 장차 도래할 국력의 낭비와 혼란을 방치하지 못했다는 자책감을 불러일으킨다"며 "모든 책임과 허물을 제가 짊어지고 이제 국무총리 자리를 떠나겠다"고 말했다.

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