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No Reason to Meet Lee Hoi-Chang

Posted March. 15, 2002 08:05,   


Reps. Kim Deok-Ryong and Hong Sa-Deok rejected the meeting proposal of Lee Hoi-Chang, the president of the Grand National Party and in response conservative lawmakers of the party denounced them, aggravating the conflicts of GNP.

Rejection of meeting: the two lawmakers released a statement yesterday, `Our Position,` arguing that “recent incidents caused by the monopolized party structure, Mr. Lee`s self-complacency, and the suspicious behavior as a public figure. Therefore, all responsibilities and the countermeasures to resolve the problem depend on Mr. Lee.”

The two turned down the meeting proposal, saying “we urge Mr. Lee to make a right decision before the nation. The decision should not be a compromise through a negotiation by some people rather it must be a public response of Mr. Lee to the nation.”

Even though the two lawmakers expressed their warning against political interpretations on their public announcement, many people understood that they are stepping forward the defection from the party. In other words, they rejected to meet with Mr. Lee, judging that, since they already made a decision to found a new party, the meeting might be seen as a political negotiation.

Rep. Kim in fact remarked at a meeting of reformist group of the party, `Forum for Reconciliation and Progress,` “I already made a decision. This party won`t work.”

Response of Mr. Lee: Mr. Lee side, which had announced a meeting with Rep. Kim on 15th, was greatly perplexed by the rejection of the meeting itself by Rep. Kim.

Mr. Lee H. C., who received a report about the statement of the two lawmakers while visiting Changwon for an event of Kyungnam chapter supporters association, expressed his displeasure. He reportedly said, “We agreed to meet together to talk about the measurers for the party`s reconciliation and development after returning from Japan. I don`t understand why Rep. Kim rejected the meeting now.”

However, Mr. Lee will continue to persuade him for a while even though it seems getting more skeptical of a positive outcome.

Previously, Mr. Lee H. C. stated at a major party staffs meeting in Yoido, “Politics is meant to be going through difficulties. The important thing is to stand firmly without shaking to keep the party.” Kim Gi-Chun, chairperson of the special aides headquarters of the party`s president, said, “we must continue our efforts to persuade the non-mainstream factions but without giving up our principle”

Announcement of conservatives: `Congressman`s meeting for Right Unification and Strong Security,` composed of 50 conservative lawmakers of the party including Rep. Kim Yong-Gap, released a statement yesterday. The statement criticized Reps. Kim and Hong, describing “we should consolidate our will to take the next government through rescuing the party from the current crisis and the solidarity of the party. The request for separation of the party`s leadership and the presidential candidacy and for the group leadership of the party is not acceptable.”

They also stated, “no matter what is true about the assertion of connection politics, president Lee must take a necessary measure on it since it damaged the leadership of Mr. Lee.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com · Jong-Hoon Lee taylor55@donga.com