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Biz circle welcomes pardons of Samsung heir Lee, other moguls

All News 14:23 August 12, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's business circle on Friday welcomed President Yoon Suk-yeol's decision to grant special pardons to Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and other business leaders, and vowed efforts to help the nation tide over the economic crisis.

Earlier in the day, President Yoon approved his first special pardons of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and 1,691 others on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day anniversary.

The president said the pardons are aimed at helping stabilize people's livelihoods and helping the nation overcome a raft of economic challenges amid high inflation and slowing economic growth.

President Yoon has vowed to pursue small government in a bid to help the corporate sector increase investment and create more jobs. The government plans to ease regulations and cut taxes to support private sector-led economic growth.

From left to right: Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, former STX Group Chairman Kang Duk-soo, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and Chang Sae-joo, chief of Dongkuk Steel Mill Co. (Yonhap)

The country's business community said the corporate sector will do its best to spur investment and create more jobs.

"We greatly welcome the approval of the special pardons so that business people can return to work," the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said in a statement.

FKI said the business circle will do its best to overcome the economic crisis and develop the nation's economy as the latest pardons were granted by taking into account the people's aspirations for companies to do their part for the economic growth.

The Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) also hailed the decision but also expressed regret that the scope of the pardons was not that extensive.

Samsung heir Lee was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye and released on parole in August last year. His prison term officially ended July 29, but he still needs a pardon to have all his rights reinstated.

Lotte Group Chairman Shin was sentenced to a suspended 2 1/2-year prison term in October 2018 in a similar bribery case involving former President Park.

Among the other business leaders granted the pardons are former STX Group Chairman Kang Duk-soo and Chang Sae-joo, chief of the country's No. 3 steelmaker, Dongkuk Steel Mill Co.


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