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South Korea's Moon leans toward pardon for jailed Samsung chief

Tradition of clemency for tycoons hard to end as chip competition intensifies

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is under pressure to pardon jailed Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a dyed-in-the-wool progressive who once loathed pardons handed out by predecessors to convicted captains of industry, may have experienced a change of heart when it comes to Lee Jae-yong of Samsung Electronics.

"Many people also have sympathy" for the company's imprisoned vice chairman, Moon said during a luncheon with representatives and leaders of South Korea's four-biggest conglomerates -- Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK and LG -- at the presidential Blue House on June 2.

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