• S. Korea PM resigns over bribery scandal

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    SEOUL: South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan-Koo was left in political limbo Tuesday after offering to resign over a scandal involving bribery allegations against senior members of President Park Geun-Hye’s administration.

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    Park is currently on a trip to Latin America and a presidential spokeswoman said she would formally decide on whether to accept the resignation when she returned next week.

    “I find it regrettable. I also feel sympathy for the agony of the prime minister,” the president said in a written statement from Lima after being informed of Lee’s offer.

    Lee, who has only been in the job for two months, tendered his resignation late Monday after the main opposition party said it would seek his impeachment.

    Lee’s office said he had reported to work Tuesday morning.

    The prime minister is a largely symbolic post in South Korea, where power is concentrated in the executive.

    But under Park, it has proved to be a job that is both difficult to secure and equally tough to hold on to.

    The president’s first ever nominee withdrew after allegations about his past, and her initial prime minister was Chung Hong-Won, who then resigned after the April 2014 Sewol ferry disaster.

    Two successive Park nominees to replace Chung withdrew their candidacies—again because of allegations of past wrongdoing—and the job finally went to Lee, who now looks almost certain to step down.

    AFP

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