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He sees himself as a future king, but most see him as a kingmaker

Dec 19,2001
Unlike with the two major political parties, there is only one name important enough to be remembered from the United Liberal Democrats: Kim Jong-pil.

Mr. Kim ran in the 1987 presidential elections as the candidate of the New Democratic Republic Party. He also steered various parties through three general elections.

But most analysts see him more as a kingmaker than a potential king. Noted for his political savvy - and shifting loyalties - he could prove an important ally in next year's election.

He lent his support to Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung in their successful bids for the Blue House.

Mr. Kim, on the other hand, does not see himself as just an ally and has pledged to make a serious run for the presidency. He has already said that if elected he would resign after bringing a parliamentary system to South Korea.

He says his greatest strength is "Forty years of experience in politics, crisis-management, consistent conservatism and powers of persuasion." Those powers of persuasion are famously formidable in negotiations.



by Chun Young-gi




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