The Korea Herald

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Former combined forces No.2 joins ruling party

By Choi Si-young

Published : Jan. 2, 2020 - 15:21

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Retired Gen. Kim Byung-joo (center), former deputy commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, announces his bid for the parliamentary elections in April 2020. (Yonhap) Retired Gen. Kim Byung-joo (center), former deputy commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, announces his bid for the parliamentary elections in April 2020. (Yonhap)
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea announced Thursday that retired Gen. Kim Byung-joo, a former deputy commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, had agreed to join the party and run in the general elections in April.

“Gen. Kim is a security expert with a vision for a strong armed forces. He knows the ROK-US alliance and international strategy better than anyone as he forged strong alliance with Washington,” the party said at a press briefing at the National Assembly. Kim was awarded four stars during the Moon Jae-in administration.

Vincent Brooks, a retired CFC commanding general who remains in close contact with Kim, sent him a congratulatory letter calling him “a military expert, scholar and brother.” Brooks said, “I respect him and am certain he will contribute greatly to South Korean politics.”

“Starting from here at the National Assembly, I will further solidify the ironclad ROK-US alliance. We need politics to engineer better security and a strong military,” Kim said at a press briefing, adding he has yet to decide to represent a constituency or seek a proportional representation seat.

Also on Thursday, Park Chan-ju, a former chief of the Army’s 2nd Operational Command, announced that he will run for a parliamentary seat in his hometown of Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

“With our security in dire condition, economy in limbo, politics in disorientation and society in division, I will address the government’s misguided peace drive and bring security,” Park said at a press briefing at Cheonan City Hall.

Park had been under fire for allegedly abusing his power and having his soldiers tend to his personal errands, but prosecutors decided not to indict him on those allegations. But he was found guilty of favoritism in promoting his subordinate while he was a four-star general.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)