(ATR) The President who won the 2018 Winter Olympics for South Korea was formally invited to attend.
Myung Bak Lee, President of South Korea from 2008-13, received a formal invitation to attend the Games yesterday from South Korean President Jae In Moon. Lee was invited to attend a ceremony for foreign leaders ahead of the Opening Ceremony according to a report from Yonhap.
"It is a national festival and a great chance to promote the national unity of the Republic of Korea and improve the status of the nation," Lee reportedly told Byung Do Han, senior secretary for political affairs to President Moon.
An official from South Korea’s Cheong Wa Dae told Around the Rings the invitation was extended due to the Lee administration’s successful bid for the Olympics. The official declined to be attributed because of the sensitive nature of the invite.
The official added that Lee’s standing as the only former South Korean President with presidential privileges played a role in the invite, and that the invite was not connected to current domestic issues Lee is facing.
All of South Korea's living former Presidents, except Lee, have faced scandals during or after their terms. Each scandal has led to courts stripping them of presidential privileges.
South Korean prosecutors have begun probes into Lee’s administration over reported potential bribes taken from the Korean Intelligence Agency. Prosecutors could speak directly with Lee after the 2018 Olympics according to reports from the South Korean press.
Emergency Boost Needed for PyeongChang Tickets
PyeongChang 2018 President Hee Beom Lee says "emergency measures" are needed to boost ticket sales.
With eight days to go until the 2018 Olympics open, PyeongChang 2018 says it has sold 74.8 percent of tickets. Lee told reporters at the opening of the Olympic Village that organizers are having trouble selling some of the most expensive tickets for the Games.
Lee said that PyeongChang is not the only Games to have trouble selling high priced tickets and that Sochi and Vancouver faced similar issues. Many of the tickets quoted by Lee are on sale for 1 million Korean Won ($930).
"Our ticket sales rate is stuck at 75 percent," Lee was quoted as saying by Yonhap. "We have many expensive tickets left, so we need some emergency measures to boost ticket sales.
"I hope people can pay more attention to competitions like figure skating team events."
Written by Aaron Bauerin Seoul
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