Lee Jae-myung calls again for a meeting with the president
Democratic Party Chairman Lee Jae-myung, who has accused the administration of a politically motivated legal persecution, called again for a one-on-one meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“I have repeatedly proposed a meeting with the president several times,” Lee said Thursday. “And that offer still is valid.”
Although last May Yoon became president after defeating Lee in March’s presidential election, and Lee became head of the DP in August, the two have never held a one-on-one meeting.
The DP controls a super-majority in the National Assembly.
Lee failed to attend Yoon’s New Year’s meeting earlier this month although he was invited.
On Thursday, Lee said he had prior engagements on that date.
“What we did was to point to the inadequacy of the [invitation] process,” Lee said.
On Jan. 2, Lee told reporters he was unaware of the event.
“I was invited to the New Year’s greeting?” Lee asked.
The DP claimed the government sent the invitation by e-mail, which was inappropriate. The Ministry of the Interior and Safety, which was responsible for the invitation, retorted that it took all necessary steps to extend the invitation, including a hand-delivered invitation to the DP office by a government employee.
On Tuesday, Lee was questioned by prosecutors for 12 hours about bribery allegations. On Thursday, Lee did not answer any questions about that case, such as whether he will comply with other summonses by prosecutors in other investigations.
“These [questions] are all based on assumptions, and are not appropriate for me to answer,” Lee said.
“The prosecutors are forcibly trying to dig up a case that has been already cleared of suspicion,” Lee said about the investigation into an alleged quid pro quo for a corporate sponsorship for the city of Seongnam’s football club while he served as its mayor.
When asked about his popularity ratings since he became DP chair, Lee said he is not worried.
“The volatility of support in polls is huge,” Lee said. “And if one is too concerned with polls, it is hard to maintain a consistent policy.
“Politics is evaluated through elections,” Lee stressed.
The DP earlier this month disclosed the names of prosecutors investigating cases involving its leader Lee, which became controversial.
“Every public servant is acting on the power that was given by the people,” Lee said. “And thus they have to be transparent if they are given that power.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]