South Korea’s opposition leader urges the president to accept investigation of wife, top officials

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, (right), shakes hands with main opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung during a meeting at the presidential office in Seoul South Korea on April 29. (AP)

SEOUL, South Korea, April 29, (AP): Emboldened by his party’s recent election win, South Korea’s opposition leader pressured President Yoon Suk Yeol to accept special investigations into allegations involving top officials and his wife, as they met Monday for talks on bipartisan cooperation.
The meeting was their first since Yoon took office in 2022 after defeating Lee Jae-myung in the country’s closest presidential election race. During their 2022 campaigns, Yoon, Lee and their supporters demonized each other and filed dozens of lawsuits against one another.
Yoon proposed the meeting as he faces growing calls to cooperate with Lee’s Democratic Party, whose victory in the April 10 parliamentary election allows it to extend its control of the single-chamber National Assembly until after Yoon’s single five-year term ends in 2027.
In his lengthy opening remarks, Lee said the election results mean “the people’s stern demand for correcting wrong government administrations,” addressing economic troubles and restoring democratic rules.
Lee urged Yoon to accept independent probes into the 2022 Halloween crush in Seoul that killed 159 people, and the 2023 death of a marine who drowned during a search-and-rescue operation for flood victims. Lee’s party has accused Yoon of ignoring public demands and retaining top officials and military commanders responsible for the deadly incidents.
Lee also asked Yoon to resolve “diverse suspicions involving his family” that “poses a big burden on government operations.” That was apparently a reference to first lady Kim Keon Hee, who faces an allegation of involvement in a stock price manipulation and other scandals.
“I’d say it would be good for you, as president, to respect the National Assembly and consider the opposition party as a partner for government operations,” Lee said.

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