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UPDATED: 11:04, March 07, 2007
S.Korean PM formally steps down
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South Korean Prime Minister Han Myong-sook formally stepped down from her post on Wednesday and expressed willingness to run for the presidential elections.

"Now I'm returning to be a politician, I'm returning to my original place," said Han, who took office as the country's first female prime minister in April last year, at a news briefing.

"From now on, I'll be thinking about taking that step," Han told reporters when being asked whether she would enter the presidential race.

Han, who won public approval in administering government affairs, is expected to focus on her job as a lawmaker as well as the affairs of the Uri Party.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Han's return will help salvage the Uri party, which lost parliamentary control last month after a series of lawmaker defections. It also said Han's return will help create a new party with a coalition of other liberal forces.

The Uri Party has suffered from a low approval rate in the country and is seeking for a hopeful presidential candidate to compete with the largest opposition Grand National Party (GNP)'s Lee Myung-bak, former Seoul Mayor and Hyundai CEO, and Park Geun- hye, ex-GNP leader.

Source: Xinhua

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