“There will be no hurting of Gwangju citizens by our party,” Lee Jun-seok, the newly elected leader of the People Power Party, said regarding the Gwangju Uprising during his visit to Gwangju on Monday, the first official day of his duties. Lee who is the first leader of a main political party in his 30s took completely different routes from the traditional first-day schedule of party leaders, while emphasizing the values pursued by the conservative party, such as security and safety.
“We will work with citizens in Jeolla Province not out of the guilt for the past wrongdoing, but with a vision for the future,” said Lee to the press after offering incense to the victims of the collapse of a redevelopment building in Gwangju. He mentioned the controversial comments made by the then-Liberty Korea Party on the Gwangju Uprising and reflected on them.
Lee started his day by paying respect to 46 crew members who were killed from the Cheonan sinking in the Daejeon National Cemetery and shed tears with the bereaved family. He did not visit the Seoul National Cemetery where the graves of former presidents are placed. The cemetery is conventionally visited by party leaders on their first day of duties. “The People Power Party will carry the spirit of paying respect to not only well-known figures, such as former presidents, but also barely-over-20-years-old soldiers who passed away for the country,” said Lee. He also demanded a thorough investigation of the recent collapse at a group memorial altar for the victims in Gwangju.