Main opposition leader says ‘left-wing nationalism’ ruining S. Korea

Main opposition leader says ‘left-wing nationalism’ ruining S. Korea


The chair of the nation’s second biggest party
had some strong words for the president in his new year’s speech — blaming the Moon
adminstration for the confusion in society. Meanwhile, an internal feud continues at the
center-left People’s Party — which could alter the dynamics of the domestic political
arena. Kim Min-ji gets us up to speed with the developments
in the opposition realm. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party claims
the Moon administration’s “left-wing nationalism” — as it calls — is weighing down the country. Speaking at a new year’s press conference
on Monday,… party chair Hong Joon-pyo pointed to North Korea’s participation in next month’s
PyeongChang Olympics,… especially the fielding of a joint women’s ice hockey team, as a clear
example. “Despite the South Korean hockey players’
years of effort, tears and sweat,… this government, with its policy of fielding a
joint team, has deprived them of an opportunity. So these are the fruits of this so-called
nationalism — you get to sacrifice yourself for the country The government did not consult
with the Korean people before deciding to host musical performances by North Korea,…
or to have our athletes enter the Olympics without the South Korean flag or national
anthem.” The conservative party has been highly critical
of the ongoing inter-Korean talks to get North Korea to participate in the Winter Games — labelling
it the “Pyongyang Olympics.” It ramped up its criticism after the regime
abruptly called off a trip by its officials to inspect performance venues in the South,…
which it later rescheduled. Hong said that the local elections in June
will be a chance to put the brakes on what it called the tyranny of the liberal government
and protect the people’s livelihoods. Meanwhile,… the country’s third-largest
party is still grappling with its own internal feud. While the leadership of the center-left People’s
Party and the center-right Bareun Party gear up for a merger,… dissenters are raising
the stakes. A total of 18 lawmakers said they would create
a new party if members vote to go through with the merger at a national convention next
month. But the People’s Party leader is holding firm. “This is preposterous. They can do all they want to show their opposition
to the merger. And as party chair, I can accept their criticism. However, what they cannot do is prepare to
start another party while they are already part of one. I will have to take action in response according
to party regulations.” It remains to be seen how a merger will affect
the political landscape — either leading to the creation of a new centrist force — or
possibly adding to the ranks of the two main parties if some lawmakers choose to defect. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.

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