MB enjoys a second U.S. trip after his retirement

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MB enjoys a second U.S. trip after his retirement

Former President Lee Myung-bak left for the United States yesterday with his wife Kim Yoon-ok to take part in the annual World Christian Business and Marketplace Convention in Florida, according to aides. Lee’s U.S. visit is his second since he completed his term in February 2013.

The predecessor of President Park Geun-hye will first stop in Atlanta, Georgia, for three days for various rounds of meetings with Koreans residing in the city. He will then move to Orlando, Florida, to deliver a keynote speech and will return to Seoul on Monday.

The convention is an annual gathering of Christian business and professional leaders. Established in 1952, the CBMC has 441 branches across 40 countries.

Korea’s branch of the CBMC is the second-largest following the group’s headquarters in Tennessee.

A devout Christian, Lee’s religion was a point of occasional controversy when he was in office.

The last time Lee visited the United States was in April 2013. Former U.S. President George W. Bush invited him to a ceremony to open the George W. Bush Presidential Center at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Lee was among a handful of incumbent and former heads of government from the United Kingdom to Spain and Australia.

Lee is one of few former presidents to publicly enjoy his post-presidential period. Except for Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, the rest of the retired Korean national leaders were hounded by corruption charges.

Dozens of Lee’s former aides are known to be preparing a private foundation commemorating the 74-year-old former president’s achievements and philosophy, which is expected to be launched next year at the earliest.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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