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What Is the Democratic Labor Party’s Intention?

Posted July. 01, 2005 05:54,   


As the motion to dismiss Minister of Defense Yoon Kwang-ung becomes less likely with the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) adopting an opposing party view, the political circles are increasingly wondering: “What is DLP’s real intention?”

At least in the morning of June 29, DLP Spokesperson Hong Seung-ha called on the President to “respect the defense minister’s willingness to step down.” Vice Chair Shim Sang-jung of the party simply said she was “against the aim of the Grand National Party (GNP) to submit the motion.”

After DLP leaders attended a luncheon meeting held at the Presidential Office on the same day, however, the party decided to “oppose the dismissal motion.” Vice Chair Shim explained, “The main purpose of this motion is to strengthen the cold-war era concept of national security and authoritarian military discipline.”

The Grand National Party argued that there were some “big deals” between the ruling Uri Party and the Democratic Labor Party on the conditions of adding the creation of the Defense Industrial Office to the revised Government Organization Act and putting off passing the bill on irregular workers.

On June 30, GNP Secretary-General Kim Moo-sung outspokenly suggested an existence of big deals between the two parties, saying, “The entire Korean citizenry hope the Democratic Labor Party will be the ‘light and salt’ to the political circles, but now the party is getting more stained with the impure filth from the political circles.”

Some argue that the Democratic Labor Party “had secret talks with the governing party” over revising the “Labor Union and Labor Relations Mediation Act” to exclude the article on prohibition of third-party intervention in an effort to save Rep. Kwon Young-gil from a possible loss of his congressional seat for violating the article.

“There are speculations that the Democratic Labor Party acted on the condition that the ruling party helps pass the revision of the act, which is currently pending in the Judiciary Committee,” a GNP official insisted.

“The Grand National Party is doing a very mean action, passing on to the other party its own failure in congressional strategies,” refuted DLP Vice Chair Shim. “If there are speculations over big deals, just prove them.”

Analysts say the Democratic Labor Party, which has failed to make its voice heard since its momentary success at the beginning of the 17th National Assembly, attempts to play a casting-vote role in earnest by taking the dismissal motion issue as an opportunity. They believe that after the ruling party lost its majority in the April 30 by-elections, the party is trying to get what it wants politically by supporting the Uri Party or the Grand National Party at the critical moment.

The Grand National Party is also said to have utilized the revision of the “Labor Union and Labor Relations Mediation Act” to persuade the Democratic Labor Party to approve the motion.

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com