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South Korea's environment minister resigns

South Korea's environment minister resigns

South Korea's environment minister has resigned to participate in campaigning for a politician intending to run for December's presidential election, a presidential spokesman said Friday.
Lee Chi-beom, a former leading environmental activist, tendered his resignation to President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday and he accepted it, said presidential spokesman Cheon Ho-seon.
Lee later told reporters he will join former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan's election camp, according to Choi Su-man, a ministry spokesman.
"I volunteered to join the camp as I believe Lee, whom I have been close to for more than 20 years, is the very candidate for president who can work well," the minister said, according to Yonhap news agency.
There was no word on Lee's replacement in the environment portfolio.
Lee Hae-chan, a five-time lawmaker with the startup United New Democratic Party who served as President Roh Moo-hyun's prime minister from 2004-2006, is competing in a primary to choose a single presidential candidate from the liberal camp.
According to recent public surveys, Lee Myung-bak, the presidential nominee of the conservative opposition Grand National Party, is heavily favored to win the election with support ratings of more than 50 percent.
Incumbent Roh is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.


Updated : 2021-03-08 23:35 GMT+08:00