|President of South Korea|
25 February 2008 – 24 February 2013
|Prime Minister||Han Seung-soo|
Yoon Jeung-hyun (acting)
|Preceded by||Roh Moo-hyun|
|Succeeded by||Park Geun-hye|
|Mayor of Seoul|
1 July 2002 – 30 June 2006
|Preceded by||Goh Kun|
|Succeeded by||Oh Se-hoon|
|Member of the National Assembly|
30 May 1996 – 21 February 1998
|Preceded by||Lee Jong-chan|
|Succeeded by||Roh Moo-hyun|
30 May 1992 – 29 May 1996
|Born||19 December 1941|
Osaka, Empire of Japan
|Political party||Independent|
|Liberty Korea Party|
Kim Yoon-ok (m. 1970)
|Children||Joo-yeon (daughter, 1971)|
Seung-yeon (daughter, 1973)
Soo-yeon (daughter, 1975)
Si-hyung (son, 1978)
|Alma mater||Korea University (B.B.A.)|
|Revised Romanization||I Myeongbak|
Lee Myung-bak (Korean: 이명박; /
Lee altered the South Korean government's approach to North Korea, preferring a more hardline strategy in the wake of increased provocation from the North, though he was supportive of regional dialogue with Russia, China and Japan. Under Lee, South Korea increased its visibility and influence in the global scene, resulting in the hosting of the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. However, significant controversy remains in Korea regarding high-profile government initiatives which have caused some factions to engage in civil opposition and protest against the incumbent government and President Lee's Saenuri Party (formerly the Grand National Party). The reformist faction within the Saenuri Party is at odds against Lee. He ended his five-year term on 24 February 2013, and was succeeded by Park Geun-hye.
On 22 March 2018, Lee was arrested on charges of bribery, embezzlement, and tax evasion alleged to have occurred during his presidency. Prosecutors accused Lee of receiving bribes totaling 11 billion won and channeling assets of 35 billion won to an illicit slush fund. Shortly before his arrest, Lee posted a handwritten statement on Facebook denying the charges. Lee's arrest occurred roughly a year after the arrest of former president Park Geun-Hye, who was arrested on charges stemming from the 2016 South Korean political scandal. Lee was convicted on 5 October 2018 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Business career, 1965–92
- 3 Early political career, 1992–2006
- 4 2007 presidential election
- 5 Presidency (2008–13)
- 6 Scandals
- 7 Conviction and Sentence
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Early life and education
Lee Myung-bak was born 19 December 1941, in Osaka, Japan. His parents had emigrated to Japan in 1929, nineteen years after the Japanese annexation of Korea. Lee's father, Lee Chung-u (이충우; 李忠雨), was employed as a farm labourer in rural Japan, and his mother, Chae Taewon (채태원; 蔡太元), was a housewife. He was the fifth of seven children.
In 1945, after the end of World War II, his family returned to his father's hometown of Pohang, in Gyeongsangbuk-do, which was then an American-occupied portion of the Korean Peninsula. Lee's sister, Lee Ki-sun, believed that they smuggled themselves into the country in order to avoid having the officials confiscate the property they acquired in Japan. However, their ship was wrecked off the coast of Tsushima island. They lost all their belongings and barely survived.
Lee attended night school at Dongji Commercial High School in Pohang and received a scholarship. A year after graduation, Lee gained admission to Korea University. In 1964, during his third year in college, Lee was elected president of the student council. That year, Lee participated in student demonstrations against President Park Chung-hee's Seoul-Tokyo Talks, taking issue with Japanese restitution for the colonization of the Korean Peninsula. He was charged with plotting insurrection and was sentenced to five years' probation and three years' imprisonment by the Supreme Court of South Korea. He served a little under three months of his sentence at the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul.
Business career, 1965–92
In 1965, Lee started work at Hyundai Construction, the company which was awarded Korea's first-ever overseas construction project, a $5.2 million contract to build the Pattani-Narathiwat Highway in Thailand. Shortly after he was hired by the company, Lee was sent to Thailand to participate in the project, which was successfully completed in March 1968. Lee returned to Korea and was subsequently given charge of Hyundai's heavy machinery plant in Seoul.
It was during his three decades with the Hyundai Group that Lee earned the nickname "Raging Bulldozer". On one occasion, he completely dismantled a malfunctioning bulldozer to study its mechanics and figure out how to repair it, only to run it over with another Bulldozer that was often operated by Lee himself.
Lee became a company director at the age of 29,five years after he joined the company. He later became the CEO at age 35, becoming Korea's youngest CEO in history. In 1988, he was named chairman of Hyundai Construction at the age of 47.
When he began work at Hyundai in 1965, the company had 90 employees; when he left as chairman 27 years later, it had more than 160,000. Soon after the successful completion of the Pattani-Narathiwat Highway by Hyundai Construction, Korea's construction industry began to focus its efforts on encouraging the creation of new markets in countries such as Vietnam and the Middle East. Following the decline of construction demands from Vietnam in the 1960s, Hyundai Construction turned its focus toward the Middle East. The company continued to be a major player in construction projects with the successful completion of international projects including the Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard, the Diplomatic Hotel in Bahrain, and the Jubail Industrial Harbor Projects in Saudi Arabia, also known as "the great history of the 20th century". At that time, the amount of orders received by the Korean construction company exceeded US$10 billion, which contributed to overcoming the national crisis resulting from the oil shock.
He left Hyundai after a 27-year career, and decided to enter politics.
Early political career, 1992–2006
In 1992, Lee made the transition from business to politics. He joined the Democratic Liberal Party instead of the Unification National Party, founded by Chung Ju-yung. He was elected as a member of the 14th Korean National Assembly (for Proportional representation). Upon his election, he stated that he ran for the office because "after watching Mikhail Gorbachev change the world, I wanted to see if I could do the same." In 1995, he ran for the city of Seoul's mayoral election, but viciously lost to former prime minister Chung Won-sik during the primary of the Democratic Liberal Party.
In 1996, Lee was reelected as a member of the Korean National Assembly, representing Jongno-gu in Seoul. At the election, one of his opponents was the future president Roh Moo-hyun, who was ranked third place.
After he became a second-term lawmaker, his former secretary Kim Yoo-chan disclosed that Lee had spent excessively in his election campaign, often at the expense of taxpayers outside of his district. After receiving USD$18,000 from Lee, Kim wrote a letter reversing his disclosure and fled to Tajikistan. Lee resigned in 1998 before being fined USD$6.5 million for breaking election law and forcing Kim to flee. In the by-election held after his resignation, Roh Moo-hyun was elected as his successor.
Mayor of Seoul (2002–06)
In 2002, Lee ran for mayor of Seoul and won. As the Mayor of Seoul, Lee's most noteworthy projects included the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon stream, the creation of Seoul Forest, the opening of Seoul Forest Park, the construction of a grassy field in front of Seoul City Hall, and the addition of rapid transit buses to the city's transportation system. Lee worked to transform the area around Seoul City Hall from a concrete traffic circle to a lawn where people could gather and make Korea great again. The 2002 FIFA World Cup showed how the area could be used as a homogeneous cultural space, which came to be known as Seoul Plaza. In May 2004, the tape was cut to open a newly built park in the area, a grassy field where Seoul residents could come to relax and take in cultural performances. A major accomplishment during his term as mayor of Seoul was the restoration of Cheonggyecheon, which now flows through the heart of Seoul and functions as a modern public recreation space for people of all ages.
2007 presidential election
On 10 May 2007, Lee officially declared his intention to seek the nomination of the Grand National Party (GNP) as its presidential candidate. On 20 August 2007, he defeated Park Geun-hye in the GNP's primary to become the party's nominee for the 2007 Presidential election. During the primary, Lee was accused of profiting from illegal speculation on land owned in Dogok-dong, an expensive neighborhood in Seoul. However, in August 2007, the prosecutors said in the interim announcement, "We do suspect Lee's brother's claim over the land in Dogok-dong, but have failed to verify the real owner of the asset." On 28 September 2007, the prosecutory authority officially dropped the suspicion that the Dogok land was under a borrowed name, announcing, "We have done all necessary investigations, including tracing the proceeds from the sale of the land and call history, and now got to the bottom of this case." In December 2007, a few days before the presidential election, Lee announced that he would donate all of his assets to society.
Lee's stated goals were expressed in the "747 Plan" and included: 7% annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP), $40,000 USD per capita, and transforming Korea into the world's seventh largest economy. An important part of his platform was the Grand Korean Waterway (한반도 대운하) project from Busan to Seoul, which he believed would lead to an economic revival. His political opponents criticized the project, saying it was unrealistic and too costly to be realized. Others were concerned about possible negative environmental impact.
Signaling a departure from his previous views on North Korea, Lee announced a plan to "engage" North Korea through investment. He promised to form a consultative body with the North to discuss furthering economic ties. The body would have subcommittees on the economy, education, finance, infrastructure and welfare, and a cooperation fund of $40 billion. He promised to seek a Korean Economic Community agreement to establish the legal and systemic framework for any projects emerging from the negotiations, and called for the formation of an aid office in North Korea as a way of decoupling humanitarian aid from nuclear talks.
During the 2007 presidential election, questions about his relationship with a company called BBK were raised. In 1999, Lee was alleged to have met an American and established the LKE Bank with him. However, this enterprise went bankrupt less than a year later. The corrupt Korean prosecutors manipulated BBK case so that Lee was found not to be guilty. However, in 2018 Lee was arrested for charges related to BBK. Although, the prosecutor claimed in 2007 that Lee had nothing to do with DAS, a corporation that funded BBK, in 2018 the same prosecution office found that DAS is owned and controlled by Lee. The victim of tragic BBK case is the Korean American man and whose family that Korean prosecutors and politicians used for their own benefit.
In spite of the lowest voter turnout ever for a presidential election in South Korea, Lee won the presidential election in December 2007 with 48.7% of the vote which was considered a landslide. He took the oath of office on 25 February 2008, vowing to revitalize the economy, strengthen relations with the United States and "deal with" North Korea. Specifically, Lee declared that he would pursue a campaign of “global diplomacy” and seek further cooperative exchanges with regional neighbors Japan, China, and Russia. He further pledged to strengthen South Korea���United States relations and implement a tougher policy with regard to North Korea, ideas that are promoted as the MB Doctrine.
Two months after his inauguration, Lee's approval ratings stood at 28%, and by June 2008 they had reached 17%. U.S. President George W. Bush and Lee also discussed the ratification of the South Korea–United States Free Trade Agreement or KORUS FTA, which faced opposition from legislators in both countries. While Lee's agreement during the summit to partially lift the ban on US beef imports was expected to remove the obstacles in approving the KORUS FTA in the US, many Koreans protested the resumption of U.S. beef imports.
As protests escalated, the Korean government issued a statement warning that violent protesters would be punished, and measures would be taken to stop clashes between police and protesters. The protests continued for more than two months, and the original purpose of the candlelight vigils against U.S. beef imports was replaced by others, such as opposition to the privatization of public companies, education policy, and construction of the canal. The damages caused by protesters to the businesses around the demonstration and the social cost reached approximately 3,751,300,000,000 South Korean won.
As the government gained more stability, the approval rating of Lee's administration rose to 32.8%. Since the resumption of U.S. beef imports, more people are buying U.S. beef and now it has the second largest market share in Korea, after Australian beef.
Lee's approval ratings reflected public perception of Korea's economic situation in the wake of the global economic meltdown. Signs of a strengthening economy and a landmark $40 billion deal won by a Korean consortium to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates boosted Lee's popularity. His approval rating in January 2010 stood at 51.6%.
Former president Kim Young-sam expressed negative outlooks on Lee's role as the president and his influence between South Korea and Japan according to a WikiLeaks file. As of late 2011, Lee's administration had a series of corruption allegations surrounding certain high-ranking government employees.
The Lee administration introduced a tailor-made educational system and established the National Scholarship Foundation, which offers services such as student loans and loan counseling. In addition, the government promoted an income contingency pay-later plan in order to help out those struggling to pay tuition fees.
Teachers were highly critical of these changes, arguing that Lee wanted to turn Korean education into a "free market," while ignoring the underfunding of education in regions outside the Seoul area. However, the government designated 82 well-performing high schools in rural areas as "public boarding school" and granted funds amounting to 317 billion won in total, with 3.8 billion won each on average.
The Lee government planned to use a pool of young Korean Americans for the promotion of after-school English education in public schools in rural areas, with the aim to improve the quality of education. Prior to assuming the presidency, Lee's transition team announced it would implement a nationwide English-immersion program in order to provide students with the language tools necessary to be successful in a highly globalized world. Under this program, all classes would have been taught in English by 2010. However, Lee abandoned the program after facing strong opposition from parents, teachers, and education specialists. He then attempted to implement a program where all English courses in middle and secondary schools would be taught in English only, which would require the government to educate many teachers in Korea and recruit university students studying abroad in English-speaking countries.
"Mbnomics" is the term applied to Lee's macroeconomic policy. The term is a portmanteau derived by combining his initials (Myung-bak, Mb) and the term economics (-nomics) to form "Mbnomics". Kang Man-Soo, the Minister of Strategy and Finance, is credited with coining the term and the design of Mbnomics.
The centerpiece of Lee's economic revitalization was his "Korea 7·4·7" plan. The plan took its name from its goals: to bring 7% economic growth during his term, raise Korea's per capita income to US$40,000, and make Korea the world's seventh largest economy. As Lee put it, his government is mandated with creating a new Korea where "the people are affluent, society is warm and the state strong." To this end, he planned to follow a pragmatic, market-friendly strategy: smart market economy, empirical pragmatism, and democratic activism.
Lee wanted to move to low-carbon growth in coming decades. The government hoped to be a bridge between rich and poor countries in fighting global warming by setting itself goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved by 2020. In connection with the recent financial shock from the United States, President Lee emphasized the importance of solid cooperation between political and business circles. He proposed a tripartite meeting among the finance ministers of South Korea, Japan, and China aimed at coordinating policies to cope with the credit crisis.
Around early 2011, Mbnomics gained a negative reputation due to tax reduction plans for the rich, the failure to privatize or merge national banks, and failure to provide affordable housing. The middle-aged and senior Korean population usually supported Lee Myung-bak. However, businesspeople in their 50s-60s in the construction and real estate sectors withdrew their support of Lee after the 2010 regional election and 2012 presidential election.
The Grand Korean Waterway, officially known as the Pan Korea Grand Waterway, is a proposed 540-kilometer (340 mi) long canal, traversing difficult mountainous terrain, connecting Seoul and Busan, two of South Korea's largest cities. The canal would run diagonally across the country, connecting the Han River, which flows through Seoul into the Yellow Sea, to the Nakdong River, which flows through Busan into the Korea Strait.
Few opponents of the project argue that, during the construction process, damage to the environment could be caused by the concrete facility. However, one study states that when environmentally friendly methods of construction (like "swamp-restoration") are adopted, there will be a net positive effect (such as improving the Han River). Buddhist groups have voiced fears that it would submerge nearby Buddhist relics, which would cause irreparable damage to a significant portion of Korea's cultural legacy. On the other hand, some say that once the Kyungboo Canal is developed, another 177 cultural assets could be discovered during excavations, which could be used for a tourist attraction. In particular, the development of the canal would increase the accessibility to cultural assets that are far to reach, and hence more efficient management of those assets would be possible. Lee's promise to build the Grand Korean Waterway stalled due to low public opinion.
If successful, Lee maintained that his plan, which would include dredging and other measures to improve Korea's waterways, would decrease water pollution, and bring economic benefits to local communities. Speaking in 2005 about the project, Lee said, "Many journalists questioned me why I keep commenting on the building of the canal. However, it's a simple fact that many cities around the world were benefited by making the best use of their rivers and seas." At a special conference held on 19 June 2008, President Lee announced that he would drop the Grand Canal project if the public opposed the idea, and the premier confirmed this statement on 8 September 2008. Despite this assurance, many now accuse Lee of continuing the canal plan under the guise of "maintenance of the 4 great rivers (4대강 정비사업)."
Environmental and climate policy
President Lee Myung-bak laid out an agenda for National Strategy for Green Growth and the Five-Year Plan for Green Growth in 2008. In February 2009, President Lee established the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, which absorbed the sustainable development commission and two other committees on energy and climate change under direct authority of the President. The Five-Year Plan for Green Growth laid out a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to a ‘business-as-usual’ baseline implying a 4 per cent cut from the 2005 level.
The Four Major Rivers Restoration Project was a multi-purpose green growth project on the Han River (Korea), Nakdong River, Geum River and Yeongsan River in South Korea. The project was spearheaded by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and was declared complete on 21 October 2011. The restoration project's aims were to provide or improve water security, improve flood control, and restore ecosystem vitality. It was first announced as part of the “Green New Deal” policy launched in January 2009, and was later included in the government's five-year national plan in July 2009. The government estimated its full investment and funding totaled 22.2 trillion won (approximately $17.3 billion USD).
Although, former president Lee claimed that the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project was Eco-friendly, its results face severe criticism from environmental experts both inside and outside of the government. It is well described in the report in Hankyoreh, August 2013. The algae known to kill eco system of a river proliferated during summer season for many years and experts suspect it is because of weirs that slow or stop water flow. Furthermore, water quality near the Nakdong river deteriorated significantly after weirs were installed. The government already spent more than 3 trillion Korean won to keep the water potable as of August 2013.
Lee Myung-bak faced strong criticism over his choice of political appointees, many of whom were wealthy. The concern was that Lee's appointees would favor policies that protect the rich, while failing to address the needs of the underprivileged. Another criticism was that these appointees have mostly chosen from the nation's southeast region (Gyeongsangbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do), which is known as a GNP stronghold.
While the fact that the property owned by high officials, including ministers, increased on average, most of them were legally-obtained and inherited property. Those ministers involved in the allegation of illegal real-estate speculation were already replaced. Hence, the average property owned by the three replaced ministers were only 1.7 billion won. In order to set aside the alleged regional bias, Lee's first cabinet appointment procedure faithfully abided by the principles and rules by appointing four from Seoul and Yeongnam district, three from Honam, Gangwon, and Chungcheong province, and one from North Korea.
Moreover, Lee's administration increased the welfare budget by 9% to help the poorest maintain the living and middle class's stability, and pursued many more policies for the benefit of the public than the former government. His administration further claimed that the tax reforms undertaken, including the comprehensive property tax cut was not to benefit the wealthy and the haves, but to correct a wrongful tax according to the market principle. Lee also had to face corruption charges leveled at his administration. Three appointees resigned amid suspicions of corruption, and his top intelligence chief and anticorruption aide faced accusations that they received bribes from The Samsung Group. Both Samsung and Lee denied the charges. Those involved in the allegation of receiving bribes from Samsung group have been cleared of charges after special prosecutory investigation.
On 7 July 2008, Lee named Ahn Byong-man, a presidential advisor for state future planning, as his new minister of education, science and technology. Jang Tae-pyoung, a former secretary general of the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption, became minister of food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and Grand National Party lawmaker Jeon Jae-hee minister of health, welfare and family affairs. In addition, Lee gave Prime Minister Han Seung-soo another chance in the belief that no proper working conditions had been provided for the cabinet due to many pending issues since the inauguration of the new administration.
Lee was widely considered to be pro-U.S. In mid-April 2008, Lee traveled to the United States for his first official overseas visit to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House and Camp David. Lee's more aggressive approach towards North Korea was described as a welcome change for Bush, who was often at odds with Roh Moo-hyun. For a decade, what some people criticized as the former government's controversial and endless handing out of massive aid to North Korea, in the name of the "National Coexistence, Independence," failed to effectuate change in the North. The former government neglected the discussion on the nuclear issue with the North during the summit twice, and struck a mass aid deal without any sort of social consensus and examination on the ways and means of the funding, which some say created an unnecessary burden to the Korean people.
The government's stance towards North Korea was not to violate the agreement made between the heads of the two Koreas, but to mull over the economic feasibility and realizable possibility through negotiation based on mutual trust and respect, and prioritizing going forward with the project.
During a press conference, the two leaders expressed hope that North Korea would disclose the details of their nuclear weapons program, and pledged their commitment to resolve the issue through the multilateral six-party talks. Lee also gave assurances that both the U.S. and South Korea would use dialogue to end the crisis.
Multiple news outlets have remarked upon the apparently close friendship between Lee and U.S. President Barack Obama. Despite Lee's wavering support at home, Lee's leadership was lauded by Obama at the 2009 G-20 London summit, where Obama called South Korea "[one of America's] closest allies and greatest friends." Obama and Lee agreed on a need "for a stern, united response from the international community" in light of North Korea's efforts toward a threatened satellite launch. Lee accepted an invitation by Obama to visit the United States on 16 June 2009. President Obama hosted Lee for a day-long state visit and state dinner on 13 October 2011.
Lee also played a role in bringing about the normalization of South Korea's relations with Russia. Furthermore, Lee built relationships with foreign leaders, including former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed, former Chinese Communist Party general secretary Jiang Zemin and former Soviet Union Communist Party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
US beef imports
On 18 April 2008, Lee's administration agreed on resumption of U.S. beef imports. Previously, Korea had banned U.S. beef after a cow infected with BSE that had originated from Canada was found in Washington state. Fears that US beef imports in South Korea, in relation to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, would cause Mad Cow disease infected beef to be imported to South Korea came to a boil in the summer of 2008.
Ten days after the deal was formally signed, MBC’s current affairs program “PD Diary” aired a multi-part episode entitled “U.S. beef, is it safe from mad cow disease?” It was reported by MBC that Koreans carry a gene making them more susceptible to mad cow disease than Americans. This claim has since been retracted by MBC. MBC further devoted 15 out of 25 other news slots to publicizing the issue showing images of downer cows from England and U.S., and reporting information such as claiming that variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) is easily transmittable through methods including blood transfusions, eating instant noodles containing beef products and using cosmetics made with cow-derived collagen.  People's roar in an Internet community, Agora, also helped demonstrations to demand the renegotiation of the terms of the import deal. 
As public anger continued to snowball, citizens started public demonstrations. On many nights, the rallies turned into confrontations with the violent police. When candles had burned out and children had gone home with their parents, many protesters were often attacked by riot-control policemen.
In an interview, Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said that the policy would be pursued "with the maximum prudence, as it will take time for the U.S. to grasp the situation in Korea and gather opinions inside the industry." The government's policy is to ban import of beef from older cattle "under any circumstances, either through renegotiations between governments or self-regulation by importers."
U.S. bone-in beef from cattle slaughtered and processed according to Korea's new import regulations, the Quality System Assessment (QSA), is now sold in Korea, but US beef is still not available in major supermarkets due to the perceived health risk.
The Seoul Southern District Court ordered MBC to air a correction by the popular MBC current affairs program "PD Notebook," saying that the report was partially wrong and exaggerated the threat of mad cow disease. The public anger towards resuming the beef deal is now regaining its composure as many people began to buy U.S. beef. The market share of U.S. beef currently stands at approximately 28.8% following Australian beef (top seller), but for 10-days prior to Korea's thanksgiving day, it was ranked the first among its competitors.
Relations with North Korea
On 4 July 2011, during a mass rally in Pyongyang, Lee and his government were strongly criticized as traitors by spokesmen for the Korean People's Army and other elements of North Korean society. The Korean People's Army called for dealing "merciless deadly blows at the enemies till they are wiped out to the last man."
His direct and tough policy towards North Korea promoted a negative image of him throughout North Korea. Lee's name became a target practice in the North Korean military as shown through the Korean Central Television on 6 March 2012.
On 5 May 2012, the Pyongyang Times newspaper published stories and pictures of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) workers threatening to "wipe out" the Lee clan. The workers were upset at Lee for "having defiled the DPRK's supreme dignity when all the fellow countrymen were celebrating the centenary of the birth of President Kim Il-sung."
President Lee embraced an aggressive approach to foreign policy, driving initiatives such as Green Korea and Global Korea. President Lee conducted frequent state visits to other countries and extended invitations to foreign counterparts to visit Korea from the time he took office. In 2009 alone, Lee visited 14 countries, including the U.S. and Thailand on 11 occasions and attended 38 summits.
As a result of his efforts, the decision to hold the G-20 Summit in Seoul in November 2010 was passed unanimously at the 2009 Pittsburgh summit. In a historic first, South Korea became the first non-G8 country to take the chairmanship of the forum, and in Toronto, President Lee rallied support for his proposal on creating global financial safety nets and addressing development issues. At the G-20 Summit in Seoul, this led directly to the unanimous endorsement of the Seoul Development Consensus.
Under his administration, South Korea was admitted to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Representatives of the DAC member nations met at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat in Paris, France, in November 2009, and voted unanimously to admit South Korea as the 24th member. The DAC members provide more than 90 percent of the world's aid for impoverished developing nations, and South Korea is the only member nation that has gone from being an aid beneficiary to a donor.
President Lee's diplomatic efforts led to an agreement between Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and the UAE on the construction of a USD$20 billion Korean standard nuclear power plant during his visit to the UAE at the end of 2009.
President Lee also held bilateral summits with the leaders of the United States, Japan, and People's Republic of China to discuss North Korean affairs. In the wake of the ROKS Cheonan sinking, a joint declaration was issued by the G-8 leaders condemning the North. President Lee succeeded in bringing the Cheonan incident to the forefront in the Chair's Statement for the Asia-Europe Meeting in 2010 at Brussels, drawing member nation support for the South Korean government's stance on North Korea's nuclear issue and stability in Northeast Asia. In addition, President Lee urged Japanese Prime Minister Kan Naoto to put his words on 15 August, Korea's Liberation Day into action. Regular reunions of the families separated by the Korean War drew attention as an international issue after being included in the Chair's Statement.
Relations with Japan
Towards the end of his term in office, Lee began to take actions that caused friction between South Korea and neighboring Japan. On 10 August 2012, Lee flew to the Liancourt Rocks, known as Dokdo or Tokto (독도, literally "solitary island") in Korean, or Takeshima (たけしま/竹島, literally "bamboo island") in Japanese. He was the first Korean president to do so. Japan temporarily withdrew its ambassador to South Korea Masatoshi Muto, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kōichirō Gemba summoned the South Korean ambassador to file a complaint and threatened to lodge a case with the International Court of Justice, (ICJ) which was rejected by South Korea. It could do so because both countries party to a dispute must agree to such ICJ cases. It was the first time for Japan to make such a move in 47 years, since Japan and South Korea officially re-established relations in 1965. Japan previously proposed bringing the issue to the ICJ in 1954 and 1964.
On 14 August 2012, on the eve of Liberation Day, Lee said that the Emperor of Japan Akihito should not visit Korea unless he apologized to the victims of Japan's past colonialism. He made the statement while speaking at a meeting of education officials. There were no specific plans for such a visit to take place, and Lee had previously been supportive to such a visit. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba both described the statement as "regrettable". A government official speaking to the Asahi Simbun said: "It has made it impossible for a Japanese emperor to visit South Korea for the next 100 years".
The neutrality of this section is disputed. (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Dogok-Dong, Seoul land issues
Lee was alleged to have been involved in an illegal company named BBK, which brought controversy to South Korea during the election season. BBK co-founders were investigated for large-scale embezzlement and stock price-fixing schemes. They had initially stated that Lee was not involved with the company, and Lee himself denied being associated with BBK. They attempted to implicate Lee in criminal involvement, which was not supported by evidence. He never admitted any wrongdoings, but the Korean press, controlled by Lee, made false report that he did. Lee was declared innocent of all charges by the Supreme Court of Korea. However, that was because the Korean prosecutors manipulated the case. In 2018, Lee was arrested and his involvement in BBK and DAS was confirmed by the same prosecutor's office. According to WikiLeaks, Yoo Chong-ha (유종하), the former co-chairman of Lee's presidential election campaign, requested then American ambassador to South Korea, Alexander Vershbow, to delay the extraction of the main individual of the BBK embezzlement scandal to Korea in order to prevent spreading controversies related to Lee's involvement in the BBK embezzlement scandal during the election season.
Naegok-dong post-presidency residence issues
Lee's acquisition of a house in Seocho-gu's Naegok-dong under his son's name caused a problem. One of the candidate lands that he sought was a green belt area, which could cause contradiction about his "eco-friendly" governance. This spurred many controversies. For instance, a female lobbyist-like civilian with the family name of Yoo was involved in this Naegok-dong deal with Lee's family members. She moved to the U.S. to avoid possible arrest.
Lee purchased the land under his son's name, which could potentially violate South Korean real estate laws. The prosecutors formally proposed to investigate President Lee's son, who was also involved in the contract.
The Seoul municipal government under Mayor Park Won-soon proposed demolition of a building in Hyoja-dong, Jongno-gu called the Blue House Sarangchae (청와대 사랑채) that politically promoted President Lee, due to the unfair usage of the city of Seoul taxpayers' money in the building.
Relatives' corruption charge
There were criticism of Lee's nepotism for his older brother, Lee Sang-deuk, whose personal aide was charged for taking $0.5 ~ $0.6 million from SLS Group. Lee Sang-deuk himself also served 14 months prison time for taking bribes from Solomon Supreme Prosecutors for extorting funds for the Four Major Rivers Project.
Lee was detained on 22 March 2018 on charges of receiving 11 billion Korean won (~$10 million USD) worth of bribes and slush funds worth 35 billion Korean won (~$33 million USD).
He is accused of taking bribes from Samsung of nearly $6 million in exchange for a presidential pardon for Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee who was in prison for tax evasion and stock fraud. It is alleged that this money was used to pay legal fees for DAS, a car-parts manufacturing firm owned by Lee's brother.
Lee is also accused of embezzling $700k of government money that was initially set aside for Seoul's intelligence agency.
In early April he was indicted on graft charges.
Conviction and Sentence
On 5 October 2018 Lee was convicted on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay a 13 billion won ($11.5m; £8.8m) fine.
In popular culture
- The United Colors of Benetton presented a Photoshopped image of Lee and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il kissing for the 2011 campaign, unhate.
- A US-based South Korean artist released a comical portrait of Lee Myung-bak in a Nazi uniform, similar to Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, to the public; he was later arrested.
- Seo Gi-ho (서기호), a judge who received warnings from his superiors because he had published strong anti-Lee remarks despite being a civil servant, expressed positive support through Twitter to a Gyeonggido Guri-based middle school teacher. The teacher received strong criticism and awaited discipline from his school after students and parents complained that he used exam questions to convey his anti-Lee agenda to his students.
- Onishi, Norimitsu (20 December 2007). "Conservative Wins Vote in South Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- 이명박 선친의 성은 '쓰키야마(月山)'였다. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). 19 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
Translation: "Our father once used the Japanese surname Tsukiyama (月山) during the Japanese Colonial Period" said the National Assembly Vice Speaker Lee Sang-deuk, in which he is also known as the older brother of the former Mayor of Seoul, Lee Myung-bak, as he also revealed that "Former Mayor Lee kept using the Japanese surname that our father used for some time after 1941". He mentioned "it was inevitable to change the surname, in which our father was a poor commoner like the majority of Koreans back then. It was sad part of the nation," during a recent interview from Shin Donga.
- Kim Seon-ju (김선주) (24 May 2011). 'MB 황금인맥' 소망교회 뭐기에.... Money Today (in Korean). Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Remise du titre de Docteur Honoris Causa - Université Paris Diderot". Univ-paris-diderot.fr. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- 이명박 정부 출범 2주년 외교 성과와 과제 - 조윤영(중앙대학교 교수, 국제정치학). 3 March 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Achievements, Celebration and Homework: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's State Visit to the United States". 26 November 2011. Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "South Korea hopes G20 will put it in spotlight" (in Korean). 6 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Sang-Hun, Choe (27 October 2011). "Seoul's Selection for Mayor May Signal Broader Change". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Sang-Hun, Choe (22 November 2011). "South Korea Approves Free Trade Pact With U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Kim Dong-guk (김동국) (14 December 2011). 탈당 고민 깊어진 MB. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Choe, Sang-Hun. "In South Korea, Another Former President Lands in Jail". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Dwyer, Colin. "Former South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak Is Arrested On Graft Charges". NPR.org. National Public Radio. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- "Former South Korea president Lee Myung-bak arrested on corruption charges". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- 뉴스타운 – 선진한국 바른언론 ▒ 뉴스타운의 역사는 대한민국 인터넷신문의 역사입니다[dead link]
- Lee Myung-bak overcomes poverty and challenges to demonstrate CEO style leadership. By Kim Yongwhan, Kyunghyang Times (in Korean) 
- "JoongAng Ilbo". Japanese.joins.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Choice 2007 Lee Myung-bak By Jeong Yeong-nam "Archived copy" (in Korean). Archived from the original on 13 March 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Hong, Pong Chol (5 May 2012). "We'll blow up all bases of provocation". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University. p. 6.
- Robert Koehler (March 2008). Korea's CEO President Lee Myung-bak, Seoul Selection. ISBN 89-91913-27-X
- "Biden explains a fitting nickname". politico.com. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- New South Korean president ? the right man at the right time By Blaine Harden, The Washington Post "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "현대건설 국외수주 600억달러 : 직장·창업·취업 : 경제 : 뉴스 : 한겨레". Hani.co.kr. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- GW President Steven Knapp to Attend Inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak
- "'이명박 리포트' 김유찬은 누구". 오마이뉴스. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- "이명박-김유찬, 10년 전에 무슨 일 있었나?".
- "Lee's ascent marked by persistence". The JoongAng Daily (English Edition). 21 August 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2008.
- "문화일보와 독자가 만들어가는". Munhwa.com. 19 August 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Heroes of the environment: Lee Myung-bak. Time Asia, 9 May 2007
- "Saving Seoul". Time. 15 May 2006. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Chosun Ilbo (16 August 2007). "Lee Myung-bak and the Prosecution". The Chosun Ilbo. Archived from the original on 25 August 2007.
- "경향닷컴 | Kyunghyang.com". News.khan.co.kr. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- ‘도곡동 땅’ 수사 슬그머니 종결 : 정치일반 : 정치 : 뉴스 : 한겨레 (in Korean). Hani.co.kr. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Lee Myung-bak announces he will donate 'all of his assets' to society". English.hani.co.kr. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- The Chosun Ilbo, Lee Myung-bak Unveils Inter-Korean Cooperation Plans Archived 31 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Jin, Dae-woong (21 December 2007). "Veteran diplomats, academics formulate the MB doctrine". The Korea Herald.
- Angus Reid page on South Korea Archived 6 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "Lee wins South Korea's election". BBC News. 19 December 2007.
- "Conservative landslide marks new era in South Korea". The Heritage Foundation. 20 December 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009.
- CNN (25 February 2008). "Lee becomes South Korean president". CNN.
- "The Korea Times, President-Elect Vows Creative Diplomacy".
- "President Lee Myung-bak's Inaugural Address". Korea.net. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Lee's decline in popularity". Hankyoreh. 9 May 2008.
- "Lee's Approval Rating Plunges to 17%". KBS. 4 June 2008. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008.
- Riechmann, Deb (19 April 2008). "North Korea, trade top Bush talks with South Korean leader". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 April 2008.
- Chang, S (10 May 2008). "South Koreans protest U.S. beef as unsafe". MarketWatch.
- "Lee's Economic Mojo". The Wall Street Journal. 14 August 2008.
- "노컷뉴스". Cbs.co.kr. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "[심층분석] 이달 초 점유율, 호주산 제쳐... 대형 마트도 판매 '저울질' – 1등 인터넷뉴스 조선닷컴". News.chosun.com. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Lee's Approval Rating Tops 50%". Koreatimes.co.kr. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "(WikiLeaks English-Korean Translation) KIM YOUNG-SAM PESSIMISTIC ON OUTLOOK FOR PRESIDENT LEE, RELATIONS WITH JAPAN". Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Park (박), Yeong-hwan (영환) (25 September 2011). "MB '3재'... 측근비리·정권심판론·경제위기". The Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- 부처뉴스 (in Korean). Mest.korea.kr. 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- KTU (15 February 2008). "President-elect Lee Myoung-bak's policy proposals threaten education". Korean Teachers & Education Workers' Union. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008.
- 헤럴드경제-뉴스 (in Korean). Heraldbiz.com. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- 윤희일·최승현·백승목기자 (5 September 2008). "경향닷컴 | Kyunghyang.com". News.khan.co.kr. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Lee Myung-bak urges participation in English-language education initiatives". Hankyoreh. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
- "'MBnomics' Under Stress as Oil Prices Soar". The Chosun Ilbo. 29 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2008.
- "에러페이지 서비스이용에 불편을 드려 죄송합니다. (screenshot)". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
- Alister Doyle.Doyle, Alister (23 August 2008). "S.Korea seeks wider climate role with 2020 goals". Reuters.
-  Archived 14 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Park (박), Jun-gyu (준규) (20 June 2011). "해체되��� MB노믹스 (Disintergrated MBnomics)". Naeil Shinmun (in Korean). Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "MB 지지했던 '건설·부동산-5060세대'도 '변심'". Naeil Shinmun (in Korean). 10 August 2011. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- Lee (이), Ho-jun (호준) (7 September 2011). "'부자 감세 인한 재정 악화' 현실로 ... 결국 'MB노믹스' 좌초". Kyunghyang Sinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Ahn (안), Chang-hyeon (창현) (7 September 2011). 청와대 ‘정책 레임덕’ 여당 거센 요구 수용. The Hankyeoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "물길살리기 국민운동본부에 오신것을 환영합니다". Kwoonha.com. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Choe, Sang-hun (12 March 2008). "Controversial Canal Tests South Korea's New Leader". New York Times.
- Schurmann, P; Lee, A. (13 March 2008). "New Christian President Rattles Korea's Buddhist Nerves". New American Media. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011.
- "노컷뉴스". Cbs.co.kr. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "South Korean Plans for a Grand Canal: Savior or Folly?". International Herald Tribune. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2008.
- "::Sbs::" (in Korean). News.sbs.co.kr. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "[Special report] The environmental fallout of the Four Major Rivers Project". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Lee's party staggers over 'rich Cabinet' controversy". Yonhap. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
- "Daum 미디어다음 – 뉴스" (in Korean). Media.daum.net. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Daum 미디어다음 – 뉴스" (in Korean). Media.daum.net. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- 복지 축소우려 '기우?'..9% 늘려 :: 네이버 뉴스 (in Korean). News.naver.com. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "[사설] 종합부동산세는 재산세에 통합시켜야 – 1등 인터넷뉴스 조선닷컴". News.chosun.com. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Sang-Hun, Choe (6 March 2008). "Corruption Allegations Batter South Korea's New President". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
- "뉴스]-"김용철 변호사 진술 오락가락"... 떡값 실체는 없었다". Donga.com. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Three Cabinet Ministers to Be Replaced". Digital Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008.
- Wiseman, Paul (19 December 2007). "Conservative wins S. Korean presidency". USA Today.
- "Analysis of Lee Myung Bak's Policy toward North Korea". Dailynk.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "North Korean Foreign Policy and the Bush Administration". www.hereinreality.com.
- "문화일보와 독자가 만들어가는". Munhwa.com. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Bush, Lee Hopeful of North Korea Nuclear Declaration". Digital Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 20 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
- LANDLER, MARK (12 October 2011). "S. Korean State Visit Highlights Bond Between 2 Leaders". New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Lee, Sunny (29 October 2011). "Lee Myung-bak: Obama's man-crush?". Asia Times. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- "Obama Calls G-20 Summit A 'Turning Point' (SLIDESHOW)". Huffingtonpost.com. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Lee of the Republic of Korea to the White House | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Cambodia could mediate-Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "S Korea lifts its ban on US beef". BBC.com. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "DNA tests confirm 'mad' cow from Canada". CNN.com. 6 January 2006.
- "A year for economic heartache". JoongAng Daily.
- Harden, Blaine (10 December 2008). "S. Koreans Have New Regard for U.S. Beef". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "What To Do About Media Fabrications". Digital Chosun Ilbo. Archived from the original on 28 June 2008.
- "Beef Importers Promise to Say No to Older Cattle". Digital Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 3 August 2008.
- "U.S. Bone-In Beef Imports to Arrive Monday". Digital Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008.
- "Pyongyang City Army-People Rally Held". Korean Central News Agency. 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
The powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu has never made an empty talk. It is the spirit and courage of the KPA to deal merciless deadly blows at the enemies till they are wiped out to the last man.
- Lee (이), Jun-sam (준삼) (6 March 2012). 北군인 `李대통령 이름 표적지' 사격연습. Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Pang, Un ju (5 May 2013). "Locals vow to take full revenge". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University. p. 6.
- Hyon, Sang Ju (5 May 2012). "With iron first of justice". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University. p. 6.
- Sim, Yong Ok (5 May 2012). "We'll never tolerate them any longer". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University.
- Kim, Tong Sik (5 May 2012). "Pomminruon calls for intensifying anti-Lee move". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University.
- "이명박 대통령, 2009년 정상외교 결산". weekly.cnbnews.com. 23 November 2009.
- "Progress on Financial Safety Nets at Seoul Summit in Nov". Dong-A Ilbo. 29 June 2010.
- "UAE picks Korea as nuclear partner". World Nuclear News. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "ROK-US-China Diplomacy Handling Cheonan". JoongAng Daily. 29 June 2010.
- "천안함 문제 의장성명에 포함돼". chosun il-bo. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013.
- "South Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement Takes Effect". ABC News. 1 July 2011.
- Park, Si-soo (4 April 2012). "Is it President's Watergate?". Korea Times. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- Steven, Steven. "Surveillance scandal deals Lee election blow". Asia Times. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- The Japan Times EDITORIAL: Strain on Tokyo-Seoul ties August 16 2012 Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri Lee's visit to Takeshima threatens Japan-S. Korea ties August 13, 2012 Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- The Korean Times Seoul to keep Dokdo out of court August 12, 2012 Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri Japan seeks joint ICJ suit over Takeshima August 18, 2012 Retrieved on 18 August 2012
- The Asahi Shimbun South Korea's Lee: Takeshima visit motivated by 'comfort women' issue August 14, 2012 Archived 15 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri Lee: Emperor can't visit till he apologizes August 16, 2012 Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- International Business Times Japan's Emperor Akihito Banned in Sex Slave Row with South Korea August 16, 2012 Retrieved on 18 August 2012
- The Daily Yomiuri Lee presses Japan on comfort women issue August 16, 2012 Retrieved on 16 August 2012
- Kim, Rahn (27 January 2008). "Lee Myung-bak Relatives Face Summons". The Korea Times. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Claims and Counter-Claims Clash in BBK Scandal". english.chosun.com. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Jimin Hong (28 June 2008). "김경준 "국민·MB에 죄송"". seoul.co.kr. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "07SEOUL3225, EXTRADITION CASE". WikiLeaks. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "US embassy cable - 송환 사건" (in Korean). www.wikileaks-kr.org. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Choi (최), Min-yeong (민영) (3 September 2011). ""BBK 송환 미뤄달라" 이명박 후보 측 미국에 요청". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Mun (문), Yong-pil (용필) (5 September 2011). "위키리크스 MB실체 폭로..."사실상 매국" 경악". Newsface (in Korean). Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Lee (이), Tae-hui (태희) (20 October 2011). "MB 사저터 2곳, 강남 보금자리 옆 그린벨트만 '콕콕'". The Hankyeoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- Park (박), Jong-jin (종진) (22 October 2011). 내곡동땅 '숨겨진 주인' 따로 있나... 미모의 여주인 유모씨가 '비밀의 문'. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- Chang (장), Jae-yong (재용); Kim Hoe-gyeong (김회경) (21 November 2011). ① 실명제법 위반 가능성 ② 자금은 어디서... 이대통령 내곡동 사저 새롭게 논란. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Roh (노), Seok-jo (석조). "檢, 내곡동 사저 관련 이시형씨 소환한다... 자금 출처 등 곧".
- "Ex-president monopolize use of tennis court". News1. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- 조사 방침. Kuki News (in Korean). 22 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Kwon (권), O-seong (오성) (21 November 2011). "보수성향 법대교수 "MB 내곡동 게이트는 탄핵감"". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- "서울시민 세금으로 MB홍보? 서울시 "MB홍보물 철거하라"". The Kyunghyang Sinmun (in Korean). 7 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Sohn (손), Bong-seok (봉석) (25 October 2011). 민주당 "이 대통령 논현동 사저, 일부 상가로 변경해 탈세". The Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Lee (이), Yong-uk (용욱) (10 December 2011). 위기 맞은 이상득. Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Bae (배), Hye-rim (혜림) (15 September 2011). '4대강 사업 비리' 대통령 사촌형 일가 고발. Money Today (in Korean). Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- '뇌물·다스 횡령' 이명박 구속…전직 대통령 2명 동시구속 재연(종합3보).
- Jeong, Andrew (9 April 2018). "Former South Korean President Lee Indicted on Graft Charges". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- http://time.com/5416457/south-korea-lee-myung-bak-prison-corruption/[dead link]
- Gordts, Eline (16 November 2011). "Benetton 'Unhate' Campaign Shows World Leaders Kissing". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- Nahm (남), Bo-ra (보라) (9 December 2011). "MB 풍자 그림 재미작가가 붙였다". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Cho (조), Seong-heum (성흠) (17 December 2011). 서기호판사, '대통령 조롱조' 교사에 "버텨라". Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- The Hankyoreh, Who is Lee Myung-bak?
- The Korea Times, Economy-First Trademark Gives Lee Myung-bak Edge
- The Chosun Ilbo, TIME Names Lee Myung-bak 'Hero of Environment'
- Meet the Presidential Hopefuls: Lee Myung-bak at The Korea Times
- Interview with the Korea IT Times, September 2005
- Interview with the Korea Times, 1 July 2004
- The Evolution of a Man Called ‘Bulldozer’ NYT, 20 December 2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lee Myung-bak.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Lee Myung-bak|
- Lee Myung-bak on Cyworld (MBtious) (in Korean)
- Collection of links related to Lee Myung-bak
- Korea Society Podcast: President Lee Myung-bak Addresses The Korea Society
- Korea Society Podcast: Lee Myung-bak's First 100 Days in Office: Roots of a Summer of Discontent?
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|National Assembly of South Korea|
| Member of the National Assembly
from Jongno District
| Mayor of Seoul
| President of South Korea
| Chairperson of the Group of 20