With the race for the presidential election kicking into gear, a string of senior lawmakers from the main opposition People Power Party are announcing their candidacies one after another.
Four-term lawmaker Park Jin on Tuesday declared his bid, becoming the third current lawmaker from the People Power Party to enter the fray, following Ha Tae-keung and Yun Hee-suk.
Considered a diplomacy expert in the National Assembly, Park is known to be close to US President Joe Biden. He visited the US in May as part of a vaccine delegation to make contact with the US administration, including Sung Kim, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, as well as the US Congress, think tanks and the pharmaceutical industry.
“We want to create a country where the people are free and happy, a country where future generations can challenge to realize their dreams and a country that shows global diplomacy and politics that suits the dignity of developed countries,” Park said at a press conference.
He denounced the Moon Jae-in government, saying it has failed the people’s expectations of the candlelight revolution and has only brought disappointment and frustration to the powerless, socially disadvantaged and young people. “Now we have to fix it.”
Park pledged to turn the economy into an advanced country paradigm and create a productive welfare system with sustainable growth and without blind spots.
The candidate stressed he would stabilize the housing market through a balance of supply and demand, deregulation and tax cuts, and create job-led growth -- not income-led growth.
He also vowed to guide Korea and the US beyond a security alliance to establish a value alliance that shares the core values of democracy and to develop the relationship into a technology alliance that will lead the era of the “fourth industrial revolution.”
“We will make the Korea-US technology alliance the strongest on the planet to advance the era of $50,000 per capita income and develop a cooperative partnership with China, Korea’s largest trading partner, through strategic communication,” he said.
The fourth candidate from the People Power Party is to be Rep. Kim Tae-ho, who will officially announce his candidacy at the National Assembly two days later. Kim expressed his intention to run for office last week, saying, “I will cut off the link of political retaliation and plant seeds of coexistence.”
Other political bigwigs -- Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, former lawmaker Yoo Seong-min and Jeju Island Gov. Won Hee-ryong -- are also said to announce their bids soon.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com