Ha Tae Kyung to Stand in Busan

Ha Tae Kyung, the president of Open Radio for North Korea, registered as a Saenuri Party parliamentary candidate in his hometown of Busan today, launching his formal political career.

Ha is registered in the same ward in the city where actor-turned-activist Mun Seong Geun, the son of deceased pastor Mun Ik Hwan, is standing for the opposition Democratic United Party. Ha has a history of civic activism together with Pastor Mun, another factor adding spice to the competition.

“The parliamentary elections are not a mere prelude to the presidential election,” Ha commented after filing his registration papers today. “It is a competition over vision and policy to see who can revive Busan, and who is the right man to develop Buk-Kangseo B Ward.”

“Above all, new leadership is needed to lead us in the rapidly reforming and changing international economy,” Ha went on. “I am standing in my hometown to recover Busan’s reputation and Busan’s pride.”

Busan, like much of North and South Gyeongsang Province, is a stronghold of the conservative right, but is a place in which the liberal left believes it can make headway in the coming legislative elections due to lingering resentment over a number of perceived ruling party failures in the region, including the loss of a proposed airport.