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Ahn considered declared with new book

Ahn Cheol-soo (Yonhap News)
Ahn Cheol-soo (Yonhap News)

Political aspirant maps out his vision in new publication

Software mogul-turned-professor Ahn Cheol-soo virtually declared his presidential aspirations in his new book released on Thursday, stating, “A challenge may be strenuous but it is not to be feared.”

In the long-awaited book titled “Thoughts of Ahn Cheol-soo -- The future map that we want of the Republic of Korea,” the political aspirant explained in detail his thoughts on justice, welfare, chaebol, irregular workers, the media union strike and inter-Korean relations.

Political watchers widely perceived the publication of the book as Ahn’s unofficial announcement of his presidential bid.

“I wish to gather strength with more people based on the thoughts contained in this book by taking on a role of a responsible politician, or by supporting the changes of the world as an individual intellect in the future,” Ahn, currently the dean of Seoul National University Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, wrote.

The founder of AhnLab, Korea’s leading anti-virus software company, added he plans to share more of his views with more people starting with the publication of the book.

Ahn, despite his ambiguous political bearings, has been placed a close second to the current presidential frontrunner Rep. Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri Party in public opinion polls for several months.

Politicians have said Ahn’s popularity was attributable to the citizen’s thirst for a new politics.

Upon the publication, Ahn is expected to make more public appearances, such as holding a talk show-type of concert or a publication party.

“Before the April 11 general elections, there were not many that doubted the win by the opposition forces, and I had thought that in such a case, it was highly possible for me to naturally return to my place while an opposition presidential candidate would settle in,” Ahn stated in the book.

“But as the general elections resulted in an unexpected defeat of the opposition, I felt a resurgence of political expectation toward me, I could not but think heavily about what the people want and where this passion came from.”

As for South Korea’s tasks, Ahn picked establishing a just and fair welfare state and a peace policy for the Korean Peninsula.

Suggesting that a strategic combination of comprehensive and selective welfare was needed, Ahn said it was a skeptical view to argue that wider welfare would lead to a financial crisis like that of Southern Europe.

He also stated justice in Korean society was directly connected with economic democratization and contended the market distortion created by extension of chaebol reach must be corrected. He proposed maintaining chaebol competitiveness, but sternly curbing insider trading and expedient inheritance.

Arguing that the unification of the two Koreas must be perceived as a “process” rather than as an “event,” Ahn showed his support to resuming the Mount Geumgang and Gaeseong tours and suggested the expansion of economic cooperation.

By Lee Joo-hee


<관련 한글 기사>

 '안철수의 생각' 급상승, 사실상 대선출마

야권의 유력한 대권 잠룡인 안철수 서울대 융합과학기술대학원장은 19일 "도전은 힘이 들 뿐 무서운 것이 아니다"며 사실상 대선 출마 의사를 밝혔다.

안 원장은 이날 출간한 저서 `안철수의 생각-우리가 원하는 대한민국의 미래지도'의 제4부 `청소년에게 전하는 이야기' 편에서 "재미를 느끼고 잘 할 수 있는 일을 선택하라"며 이같이 밝혔다.

서점가에서는 이미 19일 오전부터 이 책이 불티나게 팔리기 시작했고, 정치권에서는 이 책을 대선 도전 여부를 저울질해온 안철수 스스로를 향한 다짐으로도 해석하고 있다.

안 원장은 특히 "앞으로 책임 있는 정치인의 역할을 감당하든, 아니면 한 사람의 지식인으로서 세상의 변화에 힘을 보태는 역할을 계속하든 책에 담긴 생각을 바탕으로 더 많은 사람들과 힘을 모아 나가고 싶다"고 말했다.

그러면서 "이 책을 시작으로 앞으로는 내 생각을 보다 많은 분들에게 구체적으로 들려드리고 많은 분들의 의견에 귀를 기울일 계획"이라며 "충분히 설명하지 못한 부분도 많지만 다양한 자리를 통해 채워나갈 수 있을 것"이라고 덧붙였다.

안 원장은 "4ㆍ11 총선 전에는 야권의 승리를 의심하는 사람이 별로 없었고 그렇게 되면 야권의 대선후보가 제자리를 잡으면서 나는 자연스럽게 원래의 자리로 돌아가는 수순이 될 가능성이 크다고 생각했다"고 말했다.

그러나 "총선이 예상치 않게 야권의 패배로 귀결되면서 나에 대한 정치적 기대가 다시 커지는 것을 느꼈을 때 사람들이 무엇을 원하는지, 이 열망이 어디서 온 것 인지에 대해서 무겁게 고민하지 않을 수 없었다"고 털어왔다.

276쪽 분량의 책은 안 원장과 일간지 기자 출신인 제정임 세명대 저널리즘스쿨 교수가 대담하는 형식으로 구성됐으며, 안 원장의 삶은 물론 정의, 복지, 재벌, 비정규직, 언론파업 등 정치사회적 현안과 남북문제 등을 두루 조망했다.