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Why South Korea's prime minister appears poised to resign

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan's resignation would be a blow to President Lee's government. Chung's efforts to revise a partial government relocation initiative was rejected by parliament last week.

Britain's Duke of Gloucester (L) and South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan pose for photographs during their meeting at Chung's office at the Integrated Government Complex in Seoul June 23. Mr. Chung is poised to resign from the South Korean government.

Ahn Jeong-Won/Yonhap/Reuters

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South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan appears poised to resign, in what would deal a humbling blow to the government of Lee Myung-bak, who picked Mr. Chung less than a year ago to lead a major policy initiative.

The parliament’s rejection last week of that drive – which sought to revise the planned relocation of several government offices to a new city – means Mr. Chung has become a political burden to President Lee, analysts say.

Local media reported earlier this week that Mr. Chung expressed his plans to resign in a Saturday meeting with the president. On Wednesday, the Yonhap news agency quoted a source at the presidential office as saying Lee was ready to accept that offer.

Kim Chang-young, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, would not comment on the report.

More political theater


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