South Korea’s prime minister has offered to resign amid a bribery
scandal about two months after he took up the country’s No. 2 post,
officials said Tuesday, in the latest political crisis to hit President
Lee Wan Koo has been at the center of a corruption
scandal that flared after a businessman killed himself earlier this
month, leaving a memo listing the names of high-profile figures he
claimed to have bribed.
Businessman Sung Wan-jong told a local daily before his death he gave 30 million won ($36,182.70) to Lee in 2013.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan Koo. Photo / AP
has denied the allegation but he has seen growing calls to resign after
South Korea’s media have continuously reported alleged evidences that
indicate his ties with Sung.
Lee’s office said Tuesday he conveyed his resignation offer
Monday to President Park Geun-hye, who was in Peru as part of a
four-nation overseas trip.
Chun Hye-ran, a presidential
spokeswoman in Seoul, confirmed Lee’s resignation offer but said she has
not been informed whether Park would accept it.
scandal comes as Park struggles to deal with criticism over her
government’s handling of last year’s ferry disaster that killed more
than 300 people.
Violence broke out at a Seoul rally Saturday led
by relatives of the ferry victims and their supporters, leaving dozens
of people injured. Park has faced criticism over what analysts say is
her poor communication with the public and lack of transparency on
personnel appointments. Some of her previous prime minister and Cabinet
member picks have had to withdraw from the nomination process after
allegations about their ethical lapses and problematic past behaviors
South Korea’s executive power is concentrated in the
president but the prime minister leads the country if the president