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GNP Leader Says Party Could March in Streets Over Justice Minister’s Order

GNP Leader Says Party Could March in Streets Over Justice Minister’s Order

Posted October. 18, 2005 06:51,   


The leader of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP), Park Keun-hye, said yesterday that the recent row over Kang Jeong-gu’s pro-North Korean remarks and Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae’s ordering the prosecution to investigate the case without detaining Kang have seriously challenged the lawful status of this country.

Park said that as a last resort, the party could decide to take to the streets and call for the nation’s support.

At a National Assembly standing steering committee held yesterday, Park argued that the president must make his position clear on how he will cope with cases intended to challenge the nation’s identity and the principle of democracy.

“Unless President Roh’s response is consistent with the GNP’s position and people’s wishes, we will launch a comprehensive campaign to save this country,” said Park. However, as of now, there is little chance the justice minister will step down or withdraw his order as the GNP has demanded.

Regarding this, Park is scheduled to have a news conference at a party’s central office today, located in Yeomchang-dong, Gangseo-gu, in which she will declare the party’s full-fledged struggle against the ruling party. Since appointed as party leader in March 2004, Park has remained reluctant to take to the streets for the solution of political matters. However, a source from the GNP said that Park regarded the current situation as an emergency that needed to be tackled by using all kinds of methods.

Park’s statement yesterday was also noticeably assertive. Park said that “I think the current government is insane now,” adding, “I am even wondering if President Roh has the intention to advocate the liberal democracy of this nation, or to demolish it”

Park also stated that “the Cheong Wa Dae, administration and the ruling party are all working together to save a man who refused the political system of Korea and challenged it,” adding, “I think I have to ask the current government to where it wants to lead this country now.”

Meanwhile, GNP spokeswoman Chun Yu-ok said, “Now is a very critical moment that might fix the nation’s future fate. We have no time, so we won’t bet on a bill for Chun’s resignation because the bill’s passage in the National Assembly is very unlikely.” Therefore, it seems unlikely that the GNP will present a bill for Chun’s resignation at this time.

Regarding the GNP’s planned rallies, a source from the party said that throughout the nation, forums on this issue will be held first, in which GNP leader Park makes appeals for the public. This could be extended to popular rallies thereafter.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com