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FKTU to Form Political Party

By Kim Hong-jin (mailer@chosun.com), The Chosun Ilbo, 6 August 2002

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions said, Tuesday, it would commence working on the formation of a political party following the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions tie up with the Democratic Labor Party. The FKTU added it would create a reformative party that represented the aims of the people and workers alike.

Prior to the December presidential race, it plans to secure up to 50,000 party members and form at least 23 regional chapters by early November. The FKTU noted that it would consider allying itself with existing reformative parties.

The formation of its own political party stems from the decision that it was hard to improve labor conditions such as the 5-day workweek only as a labor movement. The FKTU noted that the Democratic Labor Party produced 40 elected members in the June 13 local election.

In and out of the trade union, however, some have raised the issue that the formation of a new party could end up as merely a stepping stone for figures from the union to enter existing parties.