Golf Game May Force S. Korean Premier to Walk

From the Associated Press

South Korea's prime minister offered to resign Tuesday after facing mounting criticism from the opposition for playing golf when he was expected to oversee the government's response to a railway strike, a news report said.

Lee Hae-chan relayed his intention to step down to President Roh Moo-hyun, who had just returned from a trip to Africa, Yonhap news agency reported, citing an anonymous source aligned with the ruling party.

Lee has been under fire from the opposition and members of the public for going golfing March 1, the first day of a nationwide walkout by railway workers. Lee was off that day, a national holiday marking Korea's 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule. He was heavily criticized because South Koreans expect high-level officials to work overtime during times of difficulty.

The premier's job is a largely ceremonial one in South Korea.

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