Lee Myung-bak (Hangul: 이명박; ; Korean: [i.mjʌŋ.bak̚]; born 19 December 1941) is a South Korean politician and businessman who served as President of South Korea from 2008 to 2013. Before his election as president, he was the CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, as well as the mayor of Seoul from 1 July 2002, to 30 June 2006. He is married to Kim Yoon-ok and has three daughters and one son. His older brother, Lee Sang-deuk, is a South Korean politician. He attends the Somang Presbyterian Church. Lee is a graduate of Korea University and received an honorary degree from Paris Diderot University on 13 May 2011. 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.
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