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Ranking ruling-party lawmaker to announce bid for Seoul mayor

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- Chung Mong-joon, a seven-term lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, said Wednesday he will announce his bid for mayor of Seoul next week. Chung, 62, has long been regarded as one of three ruling camp figures with a strong chance of winning their party's nomination to run for Seoul mayor in the June 4 local elections for mayors, governors, council members and education superintendents. "I will announce my bid on Sunday," Chung told reporters after a party meeting at the Saenuri headquarters in Seoul. "It's time to stop thinking and start enjoying."

Opposition party slams Park's economic reform plan

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) blasted President Park Geun-hye's economic reform plan Tuesday, saying it fails to address the public's real concerns. Park unveiled the so-called "three-year economic innovation plan" in a nationally televised address marking the first anniversary of her inauguration, vowing to lift the country's potential growth rate to 4 percent, achieve 70 percent employment and lay the foundation for a per capita income of US$40,000.

Rival parties cite lack of communication as Park's big fault

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- A key weakness of President Park Geun-hye in her first year in office was her lack of communication with opposition parties and the public, rival parties said Monday, one day ahead of the administration's first anniversary. Park has often come under fire from opposition parties for ignoring their demands, but it is unusual for the ruling Saenuri Party to also express regrets about her style of leadership.

Park travels equivalent of circling globe two and half times

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye traveled the equivalent of circling the globe two and a half times for summit meetings with foreign leaders in her first year in office, data showed Sunday. Park flew 111,209 kilometers on the presidential jet, about two and a half times the earth's circumference, on six overseas trips beginning with a visit to the United States in May, according to her office.

Park's main bodyguard replaced

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- The main bodyguard for President Park Geun-hye has been replaced recently, an official said Wednesday, an uncommon decision considering that most of her predecessors had not replaced the main bodyguard during their five-year terms. The former bodyguard, who had escorted Park at a closer distance than anyone else since she became president-elect in late 2012, was assigned to another job in a routine personnel reshuffle at the Presidential Security Service, officials said.

Opposition party demands gov't reshuffle over controversial ruling

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) demanded Friday that President Park Geun-hye reshuffle her Cabinet and presidential office over the acquittal of a key suspect in a high-profile election-meddling scandal. The suspect, former Seoul police chief Kim Yong-pan, was acquitted Thursday of charges of scaling back and whitewashing the results of a police investigation into allegations of state meddling in the 2012 presidential campaign. In handing down the ruling, the Seoul Central District Court cited insufficient evidence.

Opposition party demands gov't reshuffle over controversial ruling

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) demanded Friday that President Park Geun-hye reshuffle her Cabinet and presidential office over the acquittal of a key suspect in a high-profile election-meddling scandal. The suspect, former Seoul police chief Kim Yong-pan, was acquitted Thursday of charges of scaling back and whitewashing the results of a police investigation into allegations of the state meddling in the 2012 presidential campaign. In handing down the ruling, the Seoul Central District Court cited insufficient evidence.

Park names former TV anchor new spokesman

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye named a former television anchor as her new spokesman Wednesday, her chief press secretary said. Min Kyung-wook, a former anchor for public broadcaster KBS, was chosen as "the right person" to convey the president's administrative philosophy to the public based on his rich experience working in the media, including as a former correspondent to Washington, senior presidential press secretary Lee Jung-hyun said.

Park's office denies report of resignation by presidential chief of staff

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office on Thursday denied a local media report that President Park Geun-hye's chief of staff has offered to resign due to "personal reasons." According to the Seoul Shinmun newspaper, Kim Ki-choon tendered his resignation before Park set off on her state visits to India and Switzerland last week. Kim cited "personal reasons," the paper said, suggesting they could be related to his son who recently got into an "accident." Park returned from the trip earlier in the day.

Park's office denies report of resignation by presidential chief of staff

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office on Thursday denied a local media report that President Park Geun-hye's chief of staff has offered to resign due to "personal reasons." According to the Seoul Shinmun newspaper, Kim Ki-choon tendered his resignation before setting off on Park's state visits to India and Switzerland last week. Kim cited "personal reasons," suggesting they could be related to his son's health, the paper said. Park and Kim are scheduled to return from the trip later in the day.
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