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Yoon says he wants to meet ex-President Park

Yoon Suk-yeol, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, signs a guestbook during a visit to the Sinam National Cemetery in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Yoon Suk-yeol, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, signs a guestbook during a visit to the Sinam National Cemetery in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol said Thursday he wants to pay a visit to former President Park Geun-hye when she recovers her health, as Park was to be set free later in the day under a presidential pardon.

Park's release puts Yoon in an awkward position as he headed the investigation of Park's corruption scandal in 2016 that eventually led to her impeachment, ouster from office and imprisonment.

"I would like to visit and meet former President Park Geun-hye when she recovers health," Yoon told reporters in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

Yoon said he greatly welcomes Park's pardon and hopes she recovers soon.

The government said the decision to pardon Park was made in consideration of her deteriorating health and as part of efforts to promote national unity. She has been serving a 22-year prison term since 2017 on conviction of a series of corruption charges.

Her pardon is widely expected to have a significant impact on the March 9 presidential election as she has commanded support from conservatives, especially in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, a stronghold of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP).

Yoon also said the government should grant a pardon to former President Lee Myung-bak, currently serving a 17-year prison term over embezzlement and bribery charges.

"Former President Lee Myung-bak should be set free as soon as possible," Yoon said, adding that it could strengthen national unity in the long term. (Yonhap)

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