(LEAD) Ex-PPP leader says only thing politicians should never betray is the people

Former ruling People Power Party (PPP) leader Han Dong-hoon has said the one thing politicians should never betray is the people, in his first message since his resignation following the crushing defeat in the general elections earlier this month.

Han made the remark in a Facebook post Saturday night, about 10 days after he stepped down as leader of the PPP’s emergency committee to take responsibility for the party’s resounding defeat in the April 10 parliamentary elections.

The message came after Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo, a heavyweight PPP politician, accused Han earlier Saturday of betraying President Yoon Suk Yeol in an apparent reference to tensions Han had with Yoon over first lady Kim Keon Hee’s acceptance of a luxury handbag and other controversial issues.

“I will never betray the people no matter what happens,” Han said in the message. “The only thing politicians should never betray is you, the people. Efforts to correct what is wrong are not betrayal, but courage.”

Addressing supporters, Han sa
id the election defeat is “my loss, not your loss.”

“I owe you a debt. I am sorry,” he said.

Han said he firmly believes that challenges can be overcome when a “sophisticated and energetic leadership” meets the understanding and support of the people and that he will take time to study to become more sophisticated.

The remark was seen as an expression of his commitment to continue with politics but suggests that he may not run for party leader in a PPP national convention expected to take place in the coming months.

Separately, party and presidential officials said Sunday that Yoon has proposed a luncheon meeting with Han and other members of the party emergency committee, but Han reportedly declined to attend, citing health reasons.

Lee Kwan-sup, the presidential chief of staff, reportedly delivered the proposal of a luncheon meeting for Monday to Han, who responded that it’s difficult to attend at the moment due to health reasons.

Source: Yonhap News Agency