“I decided to grant special pardons in order to help forge national reconciliation and revitalize the economy as well as to boost people’s spirits,” Park said in a Cabinet meeting.
The pardons are part of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
Liberation Day, which falls on Aug. 15, is one of the major holidays in South Korea. Presidents usually grant special pardons in commemoration of major national holidays.
Park’s pardons came as she badly needs cooperation from the business community to help revive Asia’s fourth-largest economy.