Critics often compare President Lee Myung-bak with former US president Richard M. Nixon. Neither of them is considered the most ethical nor were they good at communicating with their own people. Both mixed public and private interests and are suspected of breaking laws in the process. The late US leader met a disgraceful end by deceiving Americans, but most Koreans hope theirs will avoid the same fate at the least. Which is why President Lee should squarely allow an investigation into a scandal on his abortive retirement home project, by an independent counsel.
It is regrettable in this regard that Mr Lee is reportedly considering vetoing the independent counsel bill written in a rare bipartisan agreement. The reason: the President thinks the provision that allows the main opposition party to recommend two special prosecutors is unconstitutional by violating the independence of the three arms of the state.
Mr Lee should name one of the two opposition-recommended independent counsels, face the probe, and accept responsibility if needed. That is the only way everyone - his family, his party and the nation - can move on.
This is an extract of an editorial published in the Korea Times on Sunday.