They work for rival political parties but share a sense of camaraderie in their crusade to curb the nation’s chaebol or family-owned conglomerates.
Former four-term lawmaker Kim Jong-in and You Jong-il, professor at the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management, may now be two of the figures shunned the most by chaebol owners, commentators say.
Kim, 71, is in charge of policy reforms on the interim emergency council tasked with overhauling the conservative ruling Saenuri Party, while You, 53, heads a committee on economic democratization for the liberal main opposition Democratic United Party.
The two figures have persistently called for putting the chaebol under tighter regulations to ensure more balanced growth of the national economy.
While competing to take the initiative in reforming the conglomerates, they have also found each other’s presence helps push for their proposals at intraparty discussions.
The professor has made no secret of his intent to ask Kim to join the DUP to follow through with reform work if the opposition party wins the parliamentary and presidential elections this year.
Kim said in a recent interview with a local weekly that he would consider cooperating with the opposition if it made a “sincere” request.
By Kim Kyung-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)