Go to contents

President’s Close Aide Suddenly Resigns

Posted June. 09, 2005 06:29,   


The ruling Uri Party lawmaker Yum Dong-yun, who has served as a big brother among “the president’s aides” of the ruling side, abruptly resigned from his post as a member of the Standing Central Committee of the Uri Party on June 8.

With Rep. Yum resigning from his post, it is likely that the policy conflict among the Uri Party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae will enter into a new phase.

Yum’s Sudden Resignation Announcement-

Yum, a former standing central committee member, held a news conference and announced his resignation from his post suddenly in the central building of the Uri Party on the morning of the same day.

He said, “In a heartless political circle where impure plans involving people who intend to undermine the basic moral standard of the incumbent regime and create a lame duck situation as soon as possible by backbiting and maliciously nitpicking figures close to the president have been advanced, I concluded that it would be wise to serve as a commoner as a president’s close aide.”

He spoke his mind, saying, “In a situation where the Uri Party has been being attacked due to a consumptive policy line dispute among its members, I have groaned under the burden that regardless of my will, I have stood on the side of the opposition, the dispute’s other end point.”

He seemed to have kept in mind the fact that Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan’s remark in which he said that “the president’s close aides should be controlled strictly,” and his brusque response of, “Mr. Lee, refrain from rash acts,” has stirred up controversy within the ruling party.

After reading his resignation statement, Yum left the building. Moon Hee-sang, chairman of the Uri Party, said with a serious look, “I feel quite unsatisfied and have regret.” With his resignation, the number of the standing central committee members of the Uri Party decreased from seven to six.

Background Behind His Resignation-

Various speculations over his resignation were rife inside and outside the Uri Party. First, it seems that after the defeat in the April 30 re-and by-elections, a series of scandals came out and figures even from the ruling side attacked the president’s close aides, he has been displeased over the current situation and ashamed of himself.

Some say that given the fact that he has served as a powerful figure in Jeolla Province, his resignation has something to do with “the resident sentiment in Jeolla Province.” There are rumors spreading after his resignation that with anti-ruling side sentiment accelerating in Gwangju and Jeonnam Province, the ruling side has felt helplessness since it could not find out the proper measures to take. Also, a rumor has it that he said with a sigh to his acquaintances, “Now the Uri Party has come to an end.”

Some say that his resignation can be interpreted as a “strategy” designed to make an opportunity to reform the relations among the Uri Party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae, and make a breakthrough in order to reverse the current situation. There are some analyses that his resignation can be regarded as a warning message toward strong radicals within the Uri Party. Yum, who has insisted on the integration with the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), has reportedly believed that some radicals within the Uri Party have backbitten him while spreading rumors of an investigation by the prosecution behind his back.

Yeon-WookJung jyw11@donga.com