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South Korean president pardons 450,000 people

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol granted special pardon to over 450,000 people, including a former defense minister and presidential chief of staff, local media reported on Tuesday.

The presidential order came on the occasion of Lunar New Year to be marked on Saturday, Feb. 10 this year.

Among those pardoned was Kim Kwan-jin, who served as defense minister from 2010 to 2014, and Kim Ki-choon, a former chief of staff for ousted former President Park Geun-hye, Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

Kim Kwan-jin had been serving a two-year sentence given last year for ordering the military's cyber command to post online comments in favor of the government at the time ahead of polls in 2012.

Kim Ki-choon had also been sentenced to two years, over charges that the Park government ordered the creation of a list of dissenting cultural bodies and artists to exclude from government subsidies.

Yoon said the list was prepared with a focus on reviving the economy as they included exemptions from various administrative penalties on drivers, restaurant industry workers, fishermen, and passenger and cargo transport operators.

"The government will continue to take measures helpful to everyday economic activities," the agency quoted Yoon as saying.

"I hope these pardons that are being granted ahead of the holiday will add vitality to the people's economies," he added.


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