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Sim emphasizes green economy; Ahn denounces signs of political revenge

Presidential candidates pose for a photo before starting a debate Friday. (Joint Press Corps)
Presidential candidates pose for a photo before starting a debate Friday. (Joint Press Corps)
Rep. Sim Sang-jung, presidential nominee of the left-wing Justice Party stressed the need to establish an eco-friendly welfare nation as South Korea faces myriad of socioeconomic challenges on Friday at the second televised presidential candidates’ debate.

In the debate hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea on Friday, Sim veered away from the more ususual pledge to become an “economic president,” instead opting to stress that the country must change completely if wanting to overcome problems like polarisation and discrimination.

"We need to change the country completely," Sim said in her opening address for the debate. "Climate change may feel like a distant thing, but it’s right before us. There is no going back. Now growth, industries and our daily lives have to be reshaped."

Candidate Ahn Cheol-soo of the minor opposition People’s Party denounced the two main candidates — Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party — for starting a feud over political revenge.

He criticized the two candidates for failing to focus on the issues pertaining to the people and abruptly starting a feud after Yoon hinted in a media interview that his administration could start looking into wrongdoings of the Moon Jae-in administration.

"(Whoever of the two wins the presidency) will only hire those from his side and create an incompetent and corrupt government," he said in his opening address.

"They are also not knowledgeable of the future, so they will fail to make growth engines and jobs for the future. I, Ahn Cheol-soo, will deliver these instead."

By Ko Jun-tae (
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Korea Herald daum