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[Newsmaker] Moon seen gearing up for 2017 election

Rep. Moon Jae-in (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Rep. Moon Jae-in (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Former Democratic Party presidential candidate Rep. Moon Jae-in is once again causing ripples in and outside the party by hinting at his resurgent political ambitions in a recent series of press meetings.

Speaking with reporters on Friday, Moon implied that it would be possible for him to run in the 2017 presidential election, saying that he will do his part to promote a change in administration.

In a press release Sunday about his upcoming book, Moon sharply criticized President Park Geun-hye over the on-going dispute over the alleged meddling by state agencies in last year’s presidential election.

Moon went ahead Monday saying that their attempts to frame opposition forces as pro-North Korean were “politics of hate.”

“The Saenuri Party benefited a lot (from the tactic) in last year’s presidential election, but I think it is very undesirable to use it in elections. (Saying) that half of the (South) Korean people are pro-North Korean makes no sense,” Moon said.

He also said that he considers the move to put the future of the Unified Progressive Party’s existence under the Constitutional Court’s review was “anti-democratic violence.”

As for accusations that he was refuting the outcome of the presidential election, he said that the ruling party and the presidential office were carrying out such actions.

“(The Saenuri Party and Cheong Wa Dae) seem to have some kind of complex about the unfairness of the election.

His comments are stirring hopes for and concerns about a revival of the pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction.

Although the faction held sway in the party for a number of years, it was put on the back burner in the run up to the Dec. 19 presidential election over concerns that Moon’s ties to the late former president were keeping moderate voters at bay.

Regardless of the intentions of Moon and the faction, the comments have incited strong criticism, even from within the DP.

“Rep. Moon should take responsibility for what he promised instead of making trouble for the DP,” Rep. Cho Kyoung-tae said, referring to Moon’s repeated statement that he will take responsibility if any illegal actions are found to have been taken with regards to the 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript. Cho, a third-term lawmaker from Busan, is one of the most outspoken critics of the DP’s pro-Roh faction.

As for how he thought Moon should take responsibility, Cho said that Moon should decide on his action but that it should be “more than” just resigning his parliamentary seat.

Cho also indirectly blamed the pro-Roh faction and Moon for the DP’s declining rate of support. Saying that he believed that hardliners taking power would lead to the downfall of the country, Cho said that the DP’s hardliners have “moved against the will of the people and amplified (people’s) disappointment in the DP.” 

By Choi He-suk

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Korea Herald daum