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Lee to discuss Sejong and key state issues in live TV program

All Headlines 15:22 November 24, 2009

By Byun Duk-kun

SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Yonhap) -- President Lee Myung-bak will address the nation on all issues facing the country, including a controversial river restoration project and a now-defunct plan to build an administrative capital, in a television program to be broadcast this week, Lee's office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Tuesday.

The special "Meet the President" program will be aired live by all major local broadcasters on Friday, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Sun-kyoo.

"During the program, a wide range of issues, including the Sejong city issue and the Four River Restoration Project, as well as other social and economic issues will be discussed in depth," Park told a daily press briefing.

"(The president) will not avoid any questions," he said, adding the program will include a panel of three expert discussants and an unspecified number of ordinary citizens.

The program will run 100 minutes from 10 p.m., according to Park.

The town hall meeting will be the first occasion when President Lee will personally address the nation on various controversies surrounding many government programs, especially the river restoration and administrative town projects.

The main opposition Democratic Party is threatening to boycott a parliamentary vote on a government bill for next year's budget unless the government halts the multi-billion-dollar project to build over a dozen dams or basins along the country's four major rivers.

A government move to significantly reduce the number of government ministries and offices earlier scheduled to be relocated to a new administrative town, Sejong, in Chungcheong Province has also prompted strong accusations and criticism from the opposition and the region.

"President Lee will offer honest and detailed answers to questions regarding Sejong City and various other issues while trying to offer explanations on issues that need to be explained and asking for the people's understanding and support in other areas," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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