The launching of the Lee Myung-bak (known as “MB”) government in February 2008, coupled with the landslide victory by the ruling Grand National Party in the April 9 general election, opened a new era of conservative dominance while ending a decade of progressive rule. But the triumphant mood did not last long, as the MB government encountered a series of political, economic, and social crises as well as setbacks in its foreign and inter-Korean relations.

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