What is new politics? Policy debate forum looks at new coalition party

We are just one day away now from the official
launch of a new political coalition here in Korea.
The New Politics Alliance for Democracy,… which will hold an inauguration ceremony Wednesday,…
was the main topic of conversation at a policy debate forum at the National Assembly this
morning. Our political correspondent Ji Myung-kil has
more. The coalition party that will be led by Democratic Party leader Kim Han-gil and
independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo aims to bring about an era of new politics.
But “What is New Politics?” That was the very title of a policy debate
forum at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Supporters of the newly-formed New Politics
Alliance for Democracy, or NPAD,… joined with academics and lawmakers to discuss the
future of the political landscape in Korea. A political analyst said any form of “new
politics” must focus on narrowing gaps in society. “New politics should be able to solve the
socio-economic problems that society currently faces. Old politics has failed to do that.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the grand coalition will be able to do the job.” Experts said a priority should also be placed
on building a fair welfare state that helps the people.
Professor Moon Jin-young from Sogang University asked that the government make greater efforts
to ensure there are no blind spots in the current welfare system. “Although the Korean government has worked
on its welfare system,… it is regrettable that incidents occur like the one we recently
saw, where families are committing suicide due to financial hardships. We need to formulate
comprehensive measures to help low income families.” Pundits urged the government to keep President
Park Geun-hye’s welfare promises… that include providing a monthly allowance of some 185
U.S. dollars to all senior citizens over the age of 65. “The participants also voiced a need to prepare
for a peaceful reunification of the two Koreas while also keeping an emphasis on national
security and denuclearizing the North. Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.”

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