Yoon Seok-youl (L), presidential nominee of the People Power Party (PPP), shakes hands with former PPP interim leader Kim Chong-in at a book event at a hotel in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Both the leader and the presidential nominee of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) met with a veteran politician Monday and publicly asked for his help in the 2022 presidential campaign.
The request was made by PPP Chairman Lee Jun-seok and presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl during a book event for Kim Chong-in, a former five-term lawmaker credited with steering both the ruling and opposition parties to key election victories as their interim chief.
Kim is reportedly being considered to head the PPP presidential campaign committee.
"At this time of grand national remodeling, I believe the time is coming for Dr. Kim to once again play a role," Yoon said in his congratulatory remarks for the publication of Kim's new book.
"I myself haven't been in politics for very long, but at a time when we are on a grand journey to a difficult change of government and national reform, I have thoughts of asking you to guide and lead us with your experience and knowledge," he said.
Lee recalled that he was 27 and Kim was 72 when the two first met in 2011 ahead of the then ruling party's victories in the general and presidential elections.
"There was nothing he said that wasn't helpful to me," he said in his congratulatory remarks. "I too am certain that (Kim) will contribute greatly to the upcoming presidential election and would like to do my best to assist (him)."
Kim lamented the nation's modern political history, saying not a single president since the country's 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial rule has been left "intact."
"Our politics has been unable to catch up with the dynamism of our society," he said at the event. "Power is entrusted for a moment; it is not eternal."
Asked by reporters about his response to Yoon's request for help, he said, "If such an opportunity arises, I could help."
On his specific role, he said he knew nothing about the candidate's plans. (Yonhap)