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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 06:12 GMT 07:12 UK
South Korean PM resigns
South Korea's former Prime Minister Goh Kun (archive picture)
Mr Goh led the country for 63 days during Mr Roh's impeachment crisis
South Korean Prime Minister Goh Kun, who ran the country while President Roh Moo-hyun was embroiled in an impeachment row, has resigned.

The resignation was widely expected, but President Roh had tried to persuade him to endorse cabinet changes first.

President Roh said the replacement of the unification, culture and health ministers would now have to wait.

Mr Goh had reportedly argued that he should not recommend ministers as an outgoing prime minister.

Mr Roh accepted Mr Goh's resignation at a breakfast meeting on Tuesday.

His exit is a political set-back for the president, who had repeatedly asked him to approve changes to his cabinet which would have rewarded three senior members of the Uri Party.

The Uri Party won the majority of seats during a parliamentary election last month, and Mr Roh has subsequently joined it.

Now Mr Roh will have to wait for a new prime minister to endorse his cabinet changes. His reported choice for this post is controversial, but must be approved by the National Assembly.

He is widely thought to favour Kim Hyuk-kyu, a long-time member of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) who switched to the Uri Party this year.

The GNP has argued that his switch showed that he was opportunistic and lacked integrity.

Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Lee Jun-hae will assume Mr Goh's duties until a new prime minister is appointed, the presidential spokesman said.

S Korea's Roh joins ruling party
20 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
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14 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Roh Moo-hyun
14 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: South Korea
24 May 03  |  Country profiles

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