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'Bulldozer' Prez Takes Helm in S. Korea

Conservative ex-CEO charges into office, pledging reform
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 9:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Proclaiming that "economic revival is our most urgent task," South Korea's new president took office today. Ex-Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak, a longtime Hyundai exec known as "the Bulldozer," won the office in a landslide but is likely to struggle implementing the reforms he has promised if his conservative party fails to win a majority in April's parliamentary elections, the Australian reports.

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Lee told a crowd of 60,000, which included Condoleezza Rice, that the country must "move from the age of ideology into the age of pragmatism." His campaign platform included beefing up ties to the US, mending fences with Japan, and jump-starting the country's economy. He called on North Korea to end its nuke program, aiming to "open the door to unification." (Read more South Korea stories.)

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