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(3rd LD) Opposition leader to continue hunger strike at hospital

15:52 September 18, 2023

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with more info)
By Kang Jae-eun

SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung expressed his desire Monday to continue his hunger strike even after he was taken to a hospital due to deteriorating health on the 19th day of his fast earlier in the day, officials said.

Spokesperson Han Min-soo of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) delivered the information to reporters after Lee was transferred to a nearby hospital earlier, suffering dizziness and a sharp drop in blood sugar levels.

"Lee will only receive a minimal amount of IV treatment and will not consume any food. The move is interpreted as his will to put a stop to the reckless administration," Han said.

Regarding Lee's condition, Han said Lee is out of immediate danger but is far from regaining vitality.

The opposition leader began his fast on Aug. 31 under a tent in front of the National Assembly to protest what he has called the "incompetent and violent" government of President Yoon Suk Yeol. The action came as Lee has been under investigation over corruption allegations.

Lee moved the strike site to inside his office on Sept. 13 as his health conditions worsened.

On Sunday, DP officials called an ambulance to the main building of the National Assembly at the recommendation of doctors to quickly send Lee to a hospital.

But the paramedics and the ambulance were sent back after Lee refused and insisted on continuing the hunger strike.

Also Monday, the prosecution requested an arrest warrant against Lee on breach of trust, bribery, and other charges related to a scandal-ridden land development scandal and his alleged involvement in a company's illegal remittance to North Korea.

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Lee Jae-myung (C), is transferred to a nearby hospital from the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 18, 2023. (Yonhap)



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