South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday told his aides to "fully reconsider" plans to build his retirement home in southern Seoul, giving in to criticism over perceived irregularities in the land purchase.
"It is very regrettable that the residence issue has caused concern to many people," Lee said in a meeting with presidential aides and instructed them to reconsider the retirement home plan, according to the presidential office.
The move follows media revelations that the president bought 462 square meters of land in Naegok-dong in affluent southern Seoul under the name of his only son, Si-hyung, prompting allegations of real estate speculation and tax evasion.
Lee recently tried to deflect criticism by transferring the official ownership of the land back from his son to himself, but suspicions surrounding the land deal worth more than 4.2 million U. S. dollars did not die down.
Presidential security service chief Kim In-jong offered to step down over the controversy, according to the presidential office.