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Rival party leaders show contrasting moves following inter-Korean deal

Rival party leaders show contrasting moves following inter-Korean deal

Posted August. 27, 2015 07:03,   


The leaders of rival parties are taking contrasting moves following the two Koreas reached an agreement to defuse military tensions. Kim Moo-sung, chairman of the ruling Saenuri Party, tried to tighten his grip over the party, while Moon Jae-in, chairman of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) is stepping up his diplomatic activities.

At a gathering of Saenuri Party lawmakers in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province on Wednesday, Kim put down his rival faction`s skepticism over the party`s plan to nominate candidates for next year`s parliamentary elections through open primaries. He made it clear that there was no objection to the plan when he asked other Saenuri lawmakers` opinions over the planned open primaries after adopting a resolution on the nomination system.

"I asked the lawmakers if anyone changed his or her mind after reaching a conclusion (on holding open primaries) as our party platform," Kim said. "No hand was raised. When I said, `Should we not carry out the plan as it is,’ everyone recognized it with applause." He stressed that the party had decided to push ahead with the open primary system as it was concluded as the party platform.

On the same day, the NPAD leader met with Chinese and U.S. ambassadors to South Korea, Qiu Guohong and Mark Lippert, respectively, at the National Assembly. During a meeting with the Chinese envoy, Moon asked Beijing to play a positive role for the proposed resumption of the six-nation talks on denuclearizing North Korea, an NPAD spokesperson said.

At a news conference earlier this month marking the 70th anniversary of national liberation, Moon stressed that Seoul should persuade Washington and Beijing to induce Pyongyang to the negotiating table. On Monday, Moon unveiled a plan to visit China in mid-October. Some NPAD officials interpreted Moon`s moves as an expression of his self-confidence in breaking though challenges he might face after the party`s reform committee ends its activities.