| Main opposition Democratic party`s floor leader Cho Kyung-tae (photo) had said the party is also responsible for United Progressive Party Rep. Lee Seok-ki`s alleged rebellion on the government. Now, Cho is demanding prompt handling of Lee`s expulsion. At the party`s supreme council meeting held in a tent in front of Seoul City Hall on Monday, Cho said, "We need to completely do away with out false pro-North image through Lee`s incident," adding, "(The Democratic Party should not) sit on the issue of expelling Lee." He was going in a different stance to the main opposition party that is trying to expel Lee after prosecution.
At a Dong-A Ilbo interview Monday, Cho said, "Given that the arrest motion has been passed based on party platform, the expulsion should be handled promptly so that the Democratic Party is freed from pro-North disputes." He noted, "Lukewarm attitude will only aggravate public sentiment. The allegations of Lee are a severe issue that denies constitution order of Korea and thus caution is not required."
He also clearly expressed opposition against the reform direction on the National Intelligence Service by the Democratic Party that focuses on abolishing its domestic investigation rights. Cho said, "It is irresponsible for parties to restrict the National Intelligence Service`s authority. It is an act of disarming a nation."
Cho actively explained on the criticism that his putting forward different views on issues for the sake of earning political stance. He said, "I already have told media and others that I will not run for Busan City mayor at the regional election next year," adding, "Before making (open) remarks (at meetings), I communicate sufficiently with all members, and also with Democratic Party members." "I am trying to voice what majority of members want to way who remain silent," adding, "70 percent of the public criticize Democratic Party`s over-the-counter struggle. I want to ask who is criticizing me."
Cho`s comments have sparked criticism within the party. Rep. Chin Sung-jun, who was spokesman for candidate Moon Jae-in at the presidential campaign, strongly opposed to Cho`s call for the Democratic Party to take responsibility Thursday. Chin said, "Alliance of opposition forces then were based on the public`s call," adding, (Cho`s remarks) are a blind pursuit of reckless political attack of the Saenuri Party who is trying to add pro-North colors to us." On Cho`s claim that members who gave up votes on Lee Seok-ki`s arrest motion to "come out," Chin said, "Cho disqualified himself as a party leader by denying the history and identity of the Democratic Party," adding, "He should apologize to the public and resign from floor leader position."