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First TV Joint Debate in Run-up to Presidential Election

First TV Joint Debate in Run-up to Presidential Election

Posted December. 03, 2002 22:47,   


Three major presidential bidders, Lee Hoi-chang of the Grand National Party (GNP), Roh Moo-hyun of the Millennium Democratic party (MDP) and Kwon Young-gil of the Korea Democratic Labor Party (KDLP) participated in a joint television debate from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 3.

In the live session – first of a series of three debates - which was centered on politics, foreign affairs and unification, the three candidates exchanged charges and countercharges on the issues such as North Korea policy, Korea-US relation, the Status of Forces Agreement governing the status of 37,000 US armed forces stationed in Korea and political reform.

Lee railed against the incumbent government’s corruption scandals, while Roh stressed that the old politics should end. Kwon said that an equal world in which the weak can be protected should be established.

Lee said that he run for the presidency in order to bring dreams and hopes to Korean people and he made a promise that he would create a real country for people by sticking to his principles and conviction.

Roh defined the upcoming presidential election as a competition between a candidate captivated by old politics and a candidate going out of his way to pursue new politics and he asked for support, taking a pledge that he would end the old politics.

Kwon said that only the KDLP, not established parties, could achieve political reform. And he promised that he would take the initiative in establishing a discrimination-free nation. Yeom Jae-ho, professor of Korea University presided over the debate. This was organized by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and was aired live on broadcasting companies such as KBS, MBC, SBS and YTN. MBC will organize the second debate focused on Economy and science on Dec. 10 and SBS the third one about social, cultural and women’s issues and the press on Dec. 16.

Young-Chan Yoon Jong-Koo Yoon yyc11@donga.com jkmas@donga.com