The political area in Korea has for some time been ‘without an opposition political leader.’ More accurately, the conservative political camp in Korea is literally ‘dead’ as the conservatives have lost their face following the detention of the publicly discredited former President Madam Park Geun-hye and, although with a measure of difference, former President Lee Myung-bak who is also under detention for alleged involvement in a number of charges. This was reported by a number of Korean-language newspapers today.
Against this backdrop, the main opposition conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP) has recently tapped a new leader, Kim Byung-joon, who worked for progressive former President Roh Moo-hyun but who is known to retain a good measure of conservative ideas.
Yesterday, Kim made scathing criticisms against President Moon Jae-in and his government.
Kim said, “I am very much worried what holds for the future of the Moon Government because ‘all 3 wheels’ of the country have begun ‘squeaking’—the market, the state and the community.”
Kim stated, “The market is groaning due to restrictions imposed and the state is suffering final difficulties because money of the state is being poured into the pockets of a limited number of people in the name of ‘welfare’ as part of a Moon policy to ‘look good to the masses.’”
Chairman Kim said: “The market must grow based on its own function of growth and welfare should be sought according to a proper system, but these things are not being done under the Moon government.”
Then he said, “What difference, if any, do you see between the ‘welfare without tax increase’ of the Park Geun-hye government and the ‘welfare through increased tax on wealthy people’ of the Moon government? They are both just Heogu (literally, fiction).”
On the controversial increase of the minimum wages (where President Moon later hinted making a partial amendment), Kim said: “In Korea, you have ‘self-employed people’ (also known as owner-operators) who are two to four times larger in number than those in the United States or Europe, and they have to be reduced substantially. Instead of reducing the number, the Moon government attempts to increase the wages first. These reckless policies are throwing the national economy into great confusion.”
On the North Korea policy of the Moon government, Kim stated: “The late former President Roh Moo-hyun (for whom Kim worked as an economics specialist) did not hold a view that dialog is the only means for peace with North Korea but went ahead and carried out a plan to build a Republic of Korea Navy based on Jeju Island even in defiance against opposition coming from within the camp of his own followers and supporters.
The late former President Roh always emphasized the importance of self-reliant national defense of the Republic of Korea.”
Kim said, “It is high disconcerting when I come across news that there are possibilities of suspension of the Combined ROK-US Joint Military Exercise and withdrawal of the US Forces from Korea.”