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Kim to tackle intraparty feud following Assembly closure

Kim to tackle intraparty feud following Assembly closure

Posted December. 06, 2000 20:23,   


An intraparty feud in the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) arising from Rep. Chung Dong-Young¡¯s call for the resignation of Kwon Roh-Kap, a party supreme council member, is worsening in the wake of Kwon's harsh reaction and the issuance of a supportive statement from another supreme councilor, Rep. Rhee In-Je.

Kwon said that Chung had taken issue with ¡°fabricated, malicious rumors¡± circulating on the street, adding that he would make his position clear in a press interview Thursday.

In reply to a reporter's suggestion that Kwon's rival Hahn Hwa-Kap was behind Chung's remarks, Rep. Lee Hoon-Pyung, a close aide to Kwon, remarked, ¡°You said it.¡± The press treated this as a virtual acknowledgement of the truth of the reporter¡¯s statement.

Rep. Lee, in support of Kwon, said that it was unimaginable for the ruling party to continue conducting politics if its eliminates Kwon, leader of the Tonggyo-dong faction, which played a central role along with President Kim in helping the party gain power.

Rep. Chung categorically denied allegations that there was a political conspiracy or instigation behind his anti-Kwon remarks, challenging his rivals to come forward in the spirit of open debate. He also said that he has no intention of backing down from his statement and that he still thinks his judgment was right.

Rep. Lee Jae-Joung and a group of young MDP lawmakers moved to recommend to President Kim that he force Kwon and his Tonggyo-dong faction followers to retreat from the political forefront for fear of worsening intra-party strife.

Meanwhile, President Kim said in connection with the Kwon-Chung row that he would deal with the question after the parliamentary disposition of the budget bill and bills related to reforms and the people's livelihood, indicating that he would address the controversy following the closure of the current Assembly plenary session on Dec. 9.

Yoon Young-Chan yyc11@donga.com