Both the ruling and opposition parties are showing a passionate courtship towards former Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who has recently emerged as a Presidential runner-up, saying, 'He is closer to us'.
Although former Deputy Prime Minister Kim is sparing of words and shows a cautious attitude, his choice is drawing attention as the courtship between the opposition and the ruling party for 'the first deputy prime minister of the Moon Jae-in government' is expected to continue for a while.
According to the political circles, Song Young-gil, the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, said on June 23, "I think he (former Deputy Prime Minister Kim) is a person who agrees with our Moon Jae-in administration. We hope he will participate in our party’s contest if the schedule of the Presidential race is fixed.”
Song said, "Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Kim still has affection for us and I think that he will not go over there (opposition party). So I am grateful and recognize him as a man being inclined to the ruling party."
He continued, "If he wants to become President, he has to decide (the camp)," he said. He added, “The Moon Jae-in government appointed Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Kim, Choi Jae-hyung, chairman of the Board of Audit, and former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol. Will all of them appear as an opposition candidate? I don’t think so.”
In an interview with a media on June 17, Song also said, "Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Kim is close to the Democratic Party in sentiment and policy, unlike former Prosecutor General Yoon and Chairman Choi. We are open and welcome Kim at any time.”
Meanwhile, the courtship of the main opposition party, which has recently been rising in support with the 'Lee Jun-seok effect' on its back, is formidable.
Kim Ki-hyeon, the floor leader of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), said on June 14, "We are preparing a bouquet of welcome to former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, who is preparing to take the stage, Choi Jae-hyung, chairman of the Board of Audit, and former Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who are being emerged as Presidential candidates.
PPP leader Lee Jun-seok also said, "I think they are showing a movement with the atmosphere in our party has been on the rise recently. We should seek a synergy effect with those outside the party. Now, only nine months are being left before the Presidential election, so we need to carefully watch related developments.”
In the midst of courtship of both the ruling and opposition parties, however, former Deputy Prime Minister Kim still seems to keep his distance
On June 20, he took his first public step as a volunteer for free meals.
On the questions, “Which do you think you're closer to the ruling or the opposition party? Whether you are thinking about joining the People Power Party,” Kim said, "I think that it is not proper time to answer the question.”
However, regarding the ruling party leader Song's remarks about classifying himself as a person in favor of the ruling party, Kim said, "Well, that's his opinion. It is not for me to comment "
The continued courtship of the ruling and opposition parties toward former Deputy Prime Minister Kim seems to be due to their different judgments.
It is true that former Deputy Prime Minister Kim served as the first deputy prime minister for economy under the Moon Jae-in administration and is within the framework of the current administration. Song's remarks also stemmed from this.
However, opposition parties are paying attention to the fact that former Deputy Prime Minister Kim resigned after confronting the then Blue House Policy Chief Jang Ha-seong over the 'income-led growth theory' and was a person who is at odds with the current government.
Regarding this, a political commentator said, "If Kim really run for the Presidential election, he will choose which party is right for him.”
On the possibility of meeting former Deputy Prime Minister Kim before the election schedule is finalized, the ruling party leader Song said, “It depends on Kim."