By Kim Sue-young
Former President Kim Dae-jung Friday called for a grand alliance of liberal forces ahead of the Dec. 19 presidential election, a lawmaker said Friday.
Kim made the remarks in his meeting with presidential nominee Chung Dong-young of the United New Democratic Party (UNDP) at the Kim Dae-jung Library in Seoul, Rep. Choi Jae-cheon of the UNDP told reporters. Choi serves as spokesman for Chung.
Kim asked Chung to conduct campaigns and set policies based on the public's demands.
``The French Emperor Napoleon said a hero is someone who shows what people consciously and unconsciously want without asking them,'' Kim said. ``Likewise, it is critical to figure out what people really want and expect from the next president for victory in the December presidential election.''
Chung, 54, promised to make efforts to follow in the steps of the former president's democratic government.
He also showed his confidence of winning the presidential election, saying his party successfully completed its nomination race despite some internal feuding over allegations of election fraud.
Chung said he will push an economic policy to help those with low incomes, not the rich, and a policy to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula rather than reckless competition.
Kim, the Nobel Peace laureate in 2000, is the architect of the ``sunshine policy'' of engaging North Korea. He held the first inter-Korean summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in June 2000.
Chung has said that he will follow Kim's engagement policy, asserting that peace on the Korean Peninsula will bring economic benefits to both sides.
Chung, who served as unification minister between 2004 and 2005, supported Kim when he ran for the presidential race in 1997.
He proposed that former Gyeonggi Governor Sohn Hak-kyu, 60, lead his election committee. Sohn ranked second in the UNDP's presidential nomination race, after Chung.
He made the proposal when he met Sohn over dinner.
In the first meeting since the primary race, Chung who has called for the party's unity asked Sohn to help his successful run in the presidential election.
The UNDP candidate also launched his election committee to work out campaign pledges, his camp said.
Reps. Kim Hyun-mee and Choi Jae-cheon will serve as co-spokespersons and former lawmaker Cho Seong-jun will work as chief secretary to the nominee.
The Chung camp is also considering asking former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, 55, and his camp officials to join the committee, his aides said. Lee also ran unsuccessfully in the UNDP primary race.
In the UNDP's presidential nomination convention on Oct. 15, both Sohn and Lee said they accepted the outcome of the primary race, and expressed their support for Chung.