Millennium Democratic Party has been a leading force in
achieving democratization and bringing peace on the Korean
Peninsula over the several decades both as an opposition party
and as a ruling party.
1997, the Millennium Democratic Party successfully brought
about the very first peaceful transition of power from the
ruling party to the opposition party in 50 years of Korean
history. As you have noticed, under former President Kim
Dae-jung’s leadership, the party surprised the world by
overcoming the IMF crisis wisely, the biggest national crisis
since the Korean War, in less than a year and a half. In June
2000, the MDP opened an era of reconciliation between the
North and South Koreas through the summit meeting between
President Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. In
2002 the MDP won the Presidential election once again.
however, the MDP became divided into two parties right after
MDP candidate for President Roh Moo-hyun, was elected as
President in December 2002. A large number of former MDP
members and President Roh split the party and formed a new
party called “Uri Party.”
is ironic in that President Roh was able to win the election
using MDP’s nation-wide networks. He also took advantage of
the support of active internet users in their 20’s and
30’s that grew exponentially in numbers during the Kim
Dae-jung’s MDP administration.
moment populism is on the rise in South Korea. The internet
users in their 20’s and 30’s account for approximately 60%
of total voters and their liberal but capricious political
tendencies are almost dictating Korean politics, national
South Korea’s economy is going through hard times, the
ruling party is obsessed with a plan to move the country’s
capital city. We believe it will take several decades to
accomplish this project. There is no doubt about the
usefulness of internet, however the internet-based populism
could alter the landscape of the society within a short time
frame. We’ve learned it from our experience.
the MDP lost in the election for the National Assembly on
April 15,2004, it fell down to the fourth party in Korea with
only nine National Assembly members. Considering that the MDP
was one of the most influential parties with more than 100
seats, the defeat in the election has been a shame.
Roh Moo-hyun administration has been focusing on
“cleaning-up-past politics” since it came into power. As a
result, the Korean public tend to regard all politicians as
immoral figures of the public.
deeply regretful for the division of the Millenium Democratic
Party. When MDP members left the party to join the newly
formed President’s party one after another, I vowed to stay
with MDP and to rebuild it. I will tell you why.
it is my duty to uphold the heritage of the MDP as the only
political party in Korea’s modern history which had fought
for democracy and freedom for several decades. The party is
for the middle and working class people in Korea. It is the
only moderate, reform-oriented party in Korea today. Thus, it
can lead the country without depending on either side of the
ideology groups-radical or extremist.
MDP laid down the most significant foundation for reform and
opening of Korea under the leadership of former President Kim
Dae-jung. And MDP’s accomplishments and heritage cannot be
easily overlooked or disregarded.
political parties by each regime in Korea’s modern history
have disappeared with the end of each administration. To
prevent the resurrection of “boss politics” in Korea, to
eradicate rootless politicians who switch from one party to
another chasing power, to evolve to an advanced state, I
believe Korea needs an exemplary party with solid tradition,
healthy heritage, and proud history such as the MDP.
I decided to stay with the MDP because I wanted to be the
person who speaks out that justice and morality are still
alive in Korean politics. In pursuant of power, many former
MDP members and President Roh left the MDP. They have been
continuously denying their very own nest from which they grew
out by blaming the MDP as “anti-reform” party.
all the hardships during the past few decades, we, fellows at
the MDP were able to achieve the first peaceful transition of
government without giving up hope for the dissident leader Kim
Dae-jung. Back then, the MDP and its supporters never ceased
to demonstrate hope to the oppressed people of Korea and to
the world. It was true even during the darkest era of military
dictatorship where freedom, justice and truth did not seem to
exist at all. Once again, we, the MDP, will become Korea’s
the MDP will have a fresh start based on its heritage and
fortitude as we always have had over the past several decades.
The MDP has support from the 1.5 million members, and will
gain the hearts and minds of the Korean people once again as a
truly national party that represents all regions of the
country and seeks out talented and able young reformers. We
have launched medium-and long-term strategies activating
“party rebuilding taskforce.” In the taskforce, we will
examine and reflect past shortfalls, assess our current
status, and design our future course of action.
start off, we will resolve and heal all past scars and wounds.
We had to downsize our party headquarters and manpower, work
with a much less budget, and become fiscally responsible.
Above all, we needed to heal our members’ wounded
self-esteem and pride.
cannot afford to waste our time and energy in pointing fingers
at others. Instead, we will look for new, promising leaders
and bring them to the party’s forefront.
will amend the party platform and policies, as well as party
regulations, so that we can reach out to stars while our feet
are on the ground. Also, the fee-paying members will be given
greater opportunity for participation. And we will hold our
party convention soon. The MDP will start again and rebuild
through internal unity and self-reform. And then, we will
recruit independent members of the National Assembly who share
will become at least the third party in the National Assembly
within the next four years by winning upcoming re-elections
and bi-elections. If we the Millennium Democratic Party are
flickering like fireflies now, I believe that we will
brilliantly radiate like the sunshine in a few years.