Right-Wing CEO Wins Korean Presidency

Lee Myung-bak promises harder line with North
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 5:39 AM CST
South Korean presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak of the opposition Grand National Party exits the voting booth before casting his ballot in the presidential election at a polling station in Seoul on...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Opposition leader Lee Myung-bak, nicknamed "The Bulldozer," has been elected president of South Korea by the largest margin in the country's democratic history. Lee, a former CEO at Hyundai and once mayor of Seoul, won 50.3% of the vote, trouncing his nearest rival, who captured just 26%, reports Reuters. Lee ran on a right-wing platform emphasizing improvements to the economy and a harder line with North Korea.

He plans to slow aid to Pyongyang and demand an end to its nuclear program. He also wants to pump up South Korea's flagging economy to compete with China and Japan. Although Lee led in polling throughout the race, he has been dogged by accusations of financial corruption, and he may face a criminal investigation.