중앙데일리

Visit to Kaesong highlights Uri’s election strategy

Apr 28,2006
Uri Party Chairman Chung Dong-young and leaders of the governing party yesterday visited the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea in a bid to garner votes in next month’s local elections.
Analysts in Seoul say that the visit reflects the ruling party’s strategy, of bringing the issue of inter-Korean relations to the forefront of the campaign. The visit came at a time when the main contenders for office from each major political party have emerged.
A recent agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung to make a much-anticipated second visit to the North is expected to serve as a cornerstone of the inter-Korean cooperation strategy.
For the governing party, the move is designed to get the support of voters in their 20s and 30s who are considered progressive, but also people in their 40s who are supporters of the Grand National Party.
At the Kaesong complex, Mr. Chung was briefed on the current inter-Korean economic cooperation, while listening to difficulties faced by South Korean companies operating there.
Well in line with the party’s strategy to turn the limelight on inter-Korean relations, the Uri Party is said to be planning to put more emphasis on the importance of continuous cooperation between the two Koreas.
Prior to his visit to the complex, Mr. Chung held a joint press conference in Paju with Chin Dae-je, his party’s candidate for governor of Gyeonggi province. He promised that the northern part of Gyeonggi province would be developed for industrial purposes by reducing areas currently designated as military zones.
He also said the area would become a cluster for peace.
The minister described the plan as the key strategy for opening up a peaceful and cooperative inter-Korean relationship.
Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok is scheduled to make a separate visit to the North’s Mount Kumgang today for two days.
It’s the first time he has traveled to the South Korean-operated mountain resort since his appointment as a minister in February.


by Lee Young-jong


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