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South Korea president to donate salary to poor

  • Story Highlights
  • South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak says he will donate his salary to help the poor
  • While mayor of Seoul, he donated salary to children of street cleaners and firefighters
  • Lee is a former CEO of an engineering and construction company
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(CNN) -- South Korea's new president has pledged to donate his salary to the underprivileged.

South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak says he would donate his salary to help the underprivileged.

Lee Myung-Bak made the pledge during an unscheduled meeting with reporters Sunday in the press room of his presidential office, the state news agency reported.

The president said he would donate his salary during his entire five-year term.

Lee is a former CEO of an engineering and construction company with a vast personal fortune. As mayor of Seoul from 2002 to 2004, Lee donated his salary to the children of street cleaners and firefighters.

"I promised to spend my whole salary earned as a public official on public welfare," Lee told reporters. "My plan to donate the presidential salary to the underprivileged is an extension of that promise."

The news agency did not say how much the president earns in a year.

During the election campaign, Lee, 66, vowed to donate his entire personal fortune of more than 30 billion won ($30.2 million) to the poor. He said at the time he would keep only a retirement house in Seoul. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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