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[Herald Interview] Kim Tae-heum vows to end DP’s 12-year reign in S. Chungcheong

May 29, 2022 - 17:46 By Shim Woo-hyun
Kim Tae-heum, the ruling People Power Party’s candidate for the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election (Yonhap)

Kim Tae-heum, the ruling People Power Party’s candidate for the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election, pledged to end the main opposition party’s 12-year reign in South Chungcheong Province.

“I will make South Chungcheong Province free of the arrogance, incapability and immorality that the Democratic Party has shown over the last 12 years,” Kim said in an email interview with The Korea Herald. Calling the Democratic Party’s 12-year reign a “failure,“ Yang pledged that he would advance regional development and make the province “the center of South Korea.”

Kim, who comes from the ruling party, stressed to forge close ties with the Yoon Suk-yeol administration and maintain cooperation with the central government in the future. “For the first time in a half century, a person from South Chungcheong Province took the presidential office. It is a great opportunity for the province to take a significant leap forward,” Kim said.

“I have a communication network with President Yoon Suk-yeol and the ruling party,” Kim said, emphasizing his strength over his competitor, Yang Seung-jo, in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Kim added, by leveraging his network, he “would secure whatever resources that are required for the region to develop.”

Kim said his victory in South Chungcheong Province is greatly needed to give a boost to the Yoon administration. “Yoon has achieved a regime change by winning the presidential election, but the opposition party predominates the National Assembly and the local governments. The ruling party needs a nationwide victory in the upcoming local elections to provide the momentum that the Yoon administration needs,” Kim said.

Kim hopes to bring a fresh approach to municipal affairs. “The Democratic Party has failed to get fruitful outcomes in areas that it focused on, such as the low birthrate, aging population and inequality issues,” Kim said. “Also, the Democratic Party’s 12-year-long reign of the province was unsuccessful in suggesting a big picture for the future,” Kim added.

Kim said he would focus on the sustainable and balanced development of cities and towns in South Chungcheong Province.

Kim envisioned making Cheonan and Asan major cities that could house tech companies. Together with Kim Eun-hye, the candidate of the ruling People Power Party for the June 1 Gyeonggi gubernatorial election, Kim also plans to make an economic zone connecting Cheonan, Asan and Pyeongtaek of Gyeonggi Province.

Kim also pledged to relocate the Korea Military Academy, South Korea’s leading institution for educating and training Army officers in Seoul, to Nonsan. The candidate added that he plans to make a new cluster of military facilities nearby the area.

Kim added he would turn the western part of the province, which is adjacent to the sea west of South Korea, as well as historic cities in the province into tourist zones.