Another Presidential Contender Enters Race from Splinter Conservative Party
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the conservative splinter Bareun Party announced his presidential bid Thursday, pledging to restore justice, and tide the nation over economic and security crises.
"I am running in the 19th presidential election, keeping the people's anger, frustration and questions about what is statehood in mind," Yoo, 59, said in his statement.
The fourth-term lawmaker declared that the fight against corruption will be one of his top priorities in the wake of an immense influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on Dec. 9.
"I will re-establish the rule of law by rooting out corruptive links between the government and chaebol," Yoo said. Chaebol are family-controlled conglomerates.
The former floor leader of the Saenuri Party defected to the beleaguered ruling party in December and played a key role in creating the minor Bareun Party this week.
Yoo said he will carry out drastic reforms of powerful government bodies, namely the prosecutors' office, police, intelligence agency and tax authorities.
He said South Korea will not give in to any external pressures, referring to a recent diplomatic feud with China over the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea. He has argued the plan should go ahead despite opposition from China and liberal opposition parties.
Regarding North Korea, he called for diplomatic engagement backed by pressure and military power.
"At an appropriate time, I would resume talks with North Korea. But dialogue and negotiations are effective only based on superiority in power," Yoo said.
He stressed the Seoul-Washington alliance as the security cornerstone of South Korea.
"Based on firm trust, I will wisely resolve pending alliance issues and make them even stronger," Yoo said.
Earlier this week, Gyeonggi Gov. Nam Kyung-pil of the same party also announced his intention to run in the next presidential election.'