Liberty Korea Party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn in front of Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)
Main opposition Liberty Korea Party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn began a hunger strike Wednesday to protest President Moon Jae-in’s foreign and domestic policies.
Hwang demanded Moon extend the military intel-sharing pact with Japan and scrap his income-led growth economic initiative. He urged Moon to withdraw disputed fast-tracked bills, including election and anti-corruption body proposals, which Hwang said serve the ruling party’s interests.
“I now go on indefinite hunger strike to avoid a national crisis,” Hwang said. “I’m here to defend our country, our future generations. I’m ready to die.” As of 9:30 pm Wednesday, Hwang was staging the strike near Cheong Wa Dae.
A spokesperson for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said Hwang has no cause and the strike will achieve nothing, adding, “If he wants to do something, find a way to cooperate with fellow representatives to wrap up the remaining session at the National Assembly.”
Other opposition lawmakers struck a similar note.
“Hwang’s hunger strike won’t solve this administration’s problems. He knows that better than others,” said a spokesperson for the minor conservative Bareunmirae Party.
“Why the sudden strike? It’s so random. He should quit his job, not food,” said a spokesperson for the minor liberal Justice Party. “People are just too tired of this political wrangling,” Lee Jeong-mi, another Justice Party member, wrote on Facebook.
“Hwang is closer than ever to completing two of the three things politicians shouldn’t do in the 21st century,” said Park Jie-won, a longtime liberal representative who is now an independent.
“Shaving (one’s) head, fasting and stepping down,” Park said, adding resignation would come next.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org