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Ex-Finance Minister Kim announces presidential bid as independent

Former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon speaks at a roundtable meeting with locals residents at a welfare center in Eumseong, 131 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
Former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon speaks at a roundtable meeting with locals residents at a welfare center in Eumseong, 131 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
Former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon announced Friday he will run in the presidential election slated for March as an independent.

"I will run in next year's presidential election," Kim said during a press conference in his hometown of Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province.

He added he would win the race outside of the political establishment, explaining the ruling and main opposition parties are only interested in maintaining their vested rights rather than improving the livelihoods of the people.

Kim said he will do his best to move forward with his campaign, likening his endeavor to that of French President Emmanuel Macron, who came to power by first leading an independent political grassroots movement in the country.

When asked on the prospects of meeting with Ahn Cheol-soo, head of the minor opposition People's Party, to discuss forming a political alliance, Kim said he does not have such plans.

"As of now, we're essentially a small start-up company with no money or organization but we will complete the race by rallying new political forces," Kim said.

The former career bureaucrat, mostly in economy and budget-related areas, served as President Moon Jae-in's first finance minister from June 2017 to December 2018. He resigned after reportedly clashing with senior presidential aides over the administration's income-led growth policy.

Before joining Moon's Cabinet, Kim served as president of Ajou University. He is particularly well-known as a self-made man who attended a vocational high school and an evening college while working to support his family at an early age. (Yonhap)

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