NATIONAL

Sons of ex-presidents mull running for office

By Kim So-hyun
  • Published : Mar 5, 2018 - 16:02
  • Updated : Mar 5, 2018 - 18:20
Sons of two late former presidents are considering whether to run for office in the June 13 local elections.

Kim Hong-gul, the third son of late President Kim Dae-jung, said in a radio interview Monday that he is willing to consider candidacy in the elections.

In response to a question on whether he was planning to run for the Yeongam-Muan-Sinan constituency of South Jeolla Province, Kim, a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, said nothing has been decided yet.

“My father hailed from Sinan. I haven’t decided whether to run or not, let alone where to run. I haven’t even had a discussion with the party yet,” Kim said in the interview with CPBC radio.

Kim Hong-gul, the third son of late President Kim Dae-jung (Yonhap)

Yeongam-Muan-Sinan is one of the constituencies where a parliamentary by-election will be held along with the local elections on June 13. Its former parliamentary representative Park Joon-young lost his National Assembly seat as he was sentenced to jail last month for violation of the election law.

There is speculation within the party that Kim Hong-gul may run in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, if its current parliamentary representative Park Jie-won decides to run for governor of South Jeolla Province.

Kim said he was seeking to visit North Korea as head of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, a major pro-unification group, to mend inter-Korean ties on a nongovernmental level.

“As the council has been interacting with the North for a long time, we are negotiating the terms using the channels we have to make the visit as soon as possible,” Kim said.

Kim Hyun-chul, the second son of late President Kim Young-sam, is being mentioned as a ruling party parliamentary by-election candidate for the Haeundae B constituency in Busan or the Gimhae B constituency in South Gyeongsang Province.

The Democratic Party is considering fielding Rep. Kim Kyung-soo of Gimhae B, a key confidante of President Moon Jae-in, as a candidate for governor of South Gyeongsang Province, a seat that has been vacant for 11 months, since Liberty Korea Party leader Hong Joon-pyo resigned as governor to run for president. Kim Kyung-soo had lost to Hong in the gubernatorial election in 2014.

Both sons of the former presidents supported Moon during the presidential campaign last year.

Kim Hyun-chul, a professor at Kookmin University, has supported Moon since the presidential election in 2012. He left the Saenuri Party, the predecessor of the Liberty Korea Party, in 2012 after he was denied the party’s candidacy in the parliamentary election. He entered the Democratic Party just after the presidential election last year.

Kim Hong-gul entered the Democratic Party on Moon’s recommendation in early 2016.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)