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Moderate Conservative Members of Uri Party Disapprove of Abolishing NSC

Moderate Conservative Members of Uri Party Disapprove of Abolishing NSC

Posted August. 26, 2004 21:53,   


Things are boiling within the Uri Party on the issue of the abolishment of the National Security Law.

Moderate conservative members of the party who kept a lower voice so far have held an emergency meeting on the morning of August 26. They criticized with intensity of the abolishment of the National Security Law and openly asserted that it needs a rational amendment.

The day’s meeting followed right after the meeting titled “Party Members’ Legislation Movement of National Security Law Abolishment” the day before, held by other Uri Party members including Im Jong-seok. A head-on collision between the “amendment group” and the “abolishment group” will be unavoidable.

The moderate conservative party members raised their voices that the law has to be maintained with some clauses revised. The members who attended include Rep. Yoo Jay-kun, Ahn Young-keun, Lee Kye-ahn, Cho Sung-tae, Yoo Pil-woo, Kim Sung-gon, Chung Duck-koo, Sim Jae-duck, Suh Jae-kwan, Ahn Byong-yub, Shin Hak-yong, Chung Eui-yong, and Hong Chang-sun. Rep. Cho Bae-sook and Rep. Kim Boo-kyum gave proxy notice in advance.

Rep. Ahn Young-keun said, “The abolishment of the National Security Law should be decided when the South-North Korean relationship matures, and it is too early to discuss that now,” adding, “It is true that we still have hardcore Juche theory followers in our society.”

Rep. Yoo Jay-kun said, “There are people in the nation who are concerned when the party in the majority is promoting abolishment even though North Korea still hasn’t given up on the idea of communizing unification.”

Rep. Cho Sung-tae claimed, “As the party in majority, we are responsible for guarding our people’s lives and property. But it is unfair to go against those people who have guarded those lives and that property.”

There were claims that the party should embrace moderate conservative people.

Rep. Park Sang-don said, “The support group of the Uri Party is 20 percent of revolutionaries and 30 to 40 percent of people who are used to being in the majority,” and added, “If one watches the situation moving along at the present, many majority-centered people are turning towards anti-majority ideas.” Rep. Ahn Byong-yub said, “It can be dangerous to focus on our support groups. The core support group (reformist progressive) gets conservative when they get a job and have babies. We should not spread a sense of insecurity as a party in the majority.”

Rep. Chung Duck-koo asked in response, “Our supporters are all from that (reformist progressive) group?” Rep. Yoo Jay-kun said, “It is absolutely not so, Does that mean people like us should leave the party?”

The party members attempted to raise their opinions at a policy meeting that afternoon, but the meeting hour was limited and there was no fierce debate with abolishment supporters. The debate, therefore, is deferred until the central committee meets on August 27 and the member workshop meets on August 30.

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com