Former President Lee Myung-bak said, “I came back after traveling to a remote area”… Joking instead of apologizing and reflecting

Former President Lee Myung-bak garnered attention when he gave a public speech as a keynote speaker at an economic group event on the 12th.

Former President Lee attended the ‘2023 Small Business Leaders Forum’ held at Lotte Hotel Jeju in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do this afternoon and delivered a keynote speech. About 400 small and medium-sized business representatives from each industry and region across the country participated in this forum hosted by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses. It has been about five years since former President Lee was arrested and indicted on charges of bribery and embezzlement in 2018.

In his keynote speech, former President Lee said, “I haven’t been able to see you for years because I’ve been traveling to remote areas,” and added, “I returned from a long trip at the end of last year, and this is the first time I’m meeting small business owners in one place.” He compared the period of time he was arrested and imprisoned on charges of bribery and embezzlement to a ‘travel to remote areas.’ There was no apology or reflection for committing serious crimes during his presidency and receiving judicial condemnation.

Former President Lee also mentioned the ‘American beef import scandal’ that arose early in his term. He said, “A month after I became president, the mad cow disease incident broke out. He said, “154 countries around the world eat American beef, so I don’t know why we were the only ones who did this.” This is a very different attitude from when he said, “I climbed the mountain behind my official residence and listened to the ‘morning dew’” in 2008, when candlelight protests against the import of American beef spread.

Referring to the process of overcoming the financial crisis triggered by the Lehman Brothers incident, he said, “After overcoming the financial crisis, when I met leaders from Europe and other countries, they wanted to sit next to me. “At the time, the whole world was experiencing negative growth, but we were praised by the world for achieving positive growth, albeit at 0.2%,” he said.

Kim Ki-moon, Chairman of the Korea Federation of SMEs and Startups, said in his opening speech, “When President Lee Myung-bak was in office, he presented the agenda of the times called ‘shared growth’ as a solution to the polarization between large and small businesses. Starting with the launch of the Shared Growth Committee, it continued to today’s linked delivery system.” “He is the president that we small business owners most wanted to meet,” he said. Attending the forum on this day were Baek Yong-ho, who served as Chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, Commissioner of the National Tax Service, and Director of the Presidential Office’s Policy Office during the Lee Myung-bak administration, and Hong Seok-woo, who served as Commissioner of the Small and Medium Business Administration, President of KOTRA, and Minister of Knowledge Economy.

It is difficult to find a precedent for inviting a former president, who was found guilty of corruption and even punished, as a keynote speaker to an economic organization event. There is a response from the business community that “it is inappropriate to invite a former president who was punished on corruption charges as the main speaker.”

The Korea Federation of SMEs and Startups explained the reason카지노사이트 for inviting former President Lee, saying, “Among all previous presidents, he was the one with the greatest interest in small and medium-sized businesses.” This was cited as evidence for the fact that during his presidency, small and medium-sized business New Year’s and year-end parties were upgraded to events attended by the president, and the Shared Growth Committee was launched.

It seems that his long friendship with Chairman Kim Ki-moon played a role. Chairman Kim began his first term around the time the Lee Myung-bak administration was launched, and it is known that they continued to meet informally even after former President Lee left office. An official from the Korea Federation of SMEs and Startups said, “The chairman and former President Lee have a close relationship. “I understand that the chairman personally invited me a couple of months ago and it was accepted,” he said.

Former President Lee Myung-bak was arrested and indicted on charges of bribery and embezzlement worth tens of billions of won in 2018, and in 2020, the Supreme Court sentenced him to 17 years in prison, a fine of 13 billion won, and a fine of 5.78 billion won. In June of last year, he was released with a suspended sentence due to health problems, and in December of the same year, he was exempted from all remaining sentence and fines through President Yoon Seok-yeol’s New Year’s special pardon. President Yoon Seok-yeol led the investigation and prosecution of former President Lee when he was the chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office.

Former President Lee has expanded his public activities by visiting the Daejeon National Cemetery in March and taking a walk along Cheonggyecheon in May. Recently, it was reported that he had a lunch meeting at a restaurant in Gangnam, Seoul with about 30 pro-Lee Myung-bak members, including active members of the People’s Power Party. When reporters asked whether he would resume political activities during a walk along Cheonggyecheon last May, he said, “I am not interested in the general election, and I want the country to do well.” Regarding President Yoon’s administration of state affairs, he said, “I view it positively. He responded, “We have to make it possible for the president to work.”

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