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[Newsmaker] Veteran politician returns to Assembly

Upon his landslide win in the parliamentary by-election Wednesday, Saenuri Party veteran Kim Moo-sung is setting off ripples across the political arena.

Kim received 65.7 percent of the vote in Busan’s Yeongdo constituency, beating his opposition party rival Kim Bi-oh who had 22.3 percent.

Kim is a close ally of President Park Geun-hye and a seasoned politician now in his fifth parliamentary term. His return is considered by many to be a signal for a major shift in the balance of power within the party.

Although Kim has denied the speculation that he has sights on the Saenuri Party chairmanship, it seems clear that he has his sights on bigger goals than winning another term in the National Assembly. 
Kim Moo-sung. (Yonhap News)
Kim Moo-sung. (Yonhap News)

“Whether I serve as the party chairman or in a different role, (I) am a prominent figure of the party and have been given the name of the No. 1 contributor in making President Park Geun-hye,” Kim said.

“As such, I should become the number one contributor in bringing this administration to success. I will fulfill that role.”

Kim also argued that the new Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries should be located not in Busan but in Sejong City, back-paddling from his and President Park Geun-hye’s position during last year’s presidential election.

“A ministry of the central government being set up separately in Busan will be a big burden on the efficiency of government operations, and for the Fisheries Ministry to work properly after a five-year hiatus, it needs to be located where the central government is,” Kim said. He also said that while he was the main force behind President Park Geun-hye promising to consider setting the ministry up in Busan, it was a maneuver to win over the voters of the port city driven by desire to win the presidential election.

By Choi He-suk  (