Democratic Party of Korea

The Democratic Party,[11] (Korean더불어민주당; Hanja더불어民主黨; RRDeobureominjudang; lit. Together Democratic Party; short form 민주, 더민주 "Minjoo", "Deominjoo", now known as "Minjudang" 민주당 in South Korean media since 2016)[12] formerly the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD),[13] is a centrist,[8] liberal[2] political party in South Korea.

Democratic Party

President of South KoreaMoon Jae-in
LeaderLee Hae-chan
Floor leaderLee In-young
Secretary-GeneralYun Ho-jung
Chair of the Policy Planning CommitteeCho Jeong-sik
Founded18 September 1955 (1955-09-18)
(Democratic Party)[1]
26 March 2014 (2014-03-26)
(New Politics Alliance for Democracy)
28 December 2015 (2015-12-28)
(Democratic Party of Korea)
Merger ofMinjoo Party
Preceded byDemocratic Party
New Politics Alliance
Headquarters7, Gukhoe-daero 68-gil, Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul
Membership (2018)3,579,111
IdeologyLiberalism (South Korea)[2]
Social liberalism[3][4][5]
Social conservatism[6][7]
Political positionCentre[8] to centre-left[9]
ColoursBlue[N 1][10]
Seats in the National Assembly
121 / 300
Metropolitan mayor and Gubernatorial
14 / 17
Municipal Mayors
151 / 226
Seats within local government
2,290 / 3,750
Democratic Party of Korea
더불어民主黨[N 2]
Revised RomanizationDeobureominjudang
The Minjoo
Revised RomanizationDeominju
Democratic Party
Revised RomanizationMinjudang
Headquarters of the Democratic Party

The party was founded on 26 March 2014 as a merger of the Democratic Party and the preparatory committee of the New Political Vision Party (NPVP). The former Democratic Party was legally absorbed into the NPAD after the latter's creation, while the preparatory committee of the NPVP was dissolved, with members who supported the merger joining the NPAD individually.


Formation and Ahn–Kim chairmanship (March–July 2014)Edit

The Democratic Party was formed as the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (새정치민주연합; Saejeongchi Minju Yeonhap) on 26 March 2014 after the independent faction led by Ahn Cheol-soo, then in the process of forming a party called the New Political Vision Party, merged with the main opposition Democratic Party, led by Kim Han-gil. Ahn and Kim became joint leaders of the new party.[14] The party performed poorly in by-elections that July, however, and both leaders stepped down, having served for three months. Leadership of the party was assumed by an emergency committee.[15]

Ahn–Moon controversy and split (2015–16)Edit

The next year, at a party convention on 7 February, Moon Jae-in was elected the new chairman of the party.[16] Moon, who had previously served as chief of staff for former president Roh Moo-hyun,[16] was the leader of the party's "pro-Roh" faction, which was opposed to Ahn and Kim. Moon came under fire for imposing a "pro-Roh hegemony" in the party, as Ahn and Kim were jeered and harassed at a memorial service for Roh held in May 2015.[17]

The party hemorrhaged support as the factional conflict intensified, falling from around 40 to 30 percent in opinion polls.[18] A survey conducted on 12–14 November showed that supporters of the party wanted Ahn and Seoul mayor Park Won-soon to assume the leadership alongside Moon.[19] On 29 November, Ahn rejected a proposal from Moon to establish a joint leadership,[20] and the next month he presented Moon with an ultimatum, demanding that he call a convention to elect a new party leader. Moon rejected the demand,[21] and Ahn left the party.[22]

Ahn was followed by a number of supportive NPAD assembly members, including his former co-leader Kim Han-gil,[23] and the group began preparations to form a new party.[24] On 12 January, Kwon Rho-kap, a former aide of President Kim Dae-jung and a popular figure in the party's traditional stronghold of Honam, also exited the party, similarly citing Moon's "pro-Roh hegemony".[25] Meanwhile, Ahn and Kim merged their group with that of another defector from the NPAD, Chun Jung-bae, to form the People's Party.[26]

Following the defections, the NPAD was renamed the Minjoo Party of Korea, and Moon resigned on 27 January 2016.[27] Moon handed power to Kim Chong-in, an academic and former assemblyman who had more recently served as economic advisor to conservative President Park Geun-hye.[28][29] Kim was seen as an unexpected choice, as he had previously worked for the right-wing Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo administrations in the 1980s,[30] serving as an assembly member for the ruling Democratic Justice Party and as health and welfare minister under Roh.[31]

Under Kim Chong-in (January–August 2016)Edit

Kim Chong-in viewed the pro–Roh Moo-hyun faction and what he considered the extremist wing of the party as responsible for the party's troubles, and pledged to diminish their influence.[32] In the lead-up to the 2016 parliamentary election he moved against key members of the pro-Roh faction in the nominations process, deselecting Lee Hae-chan, who had been Prime Minister under Roh and was now chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation.[33] Lee left the party in response.[32] Kim's moves proved controversial, and many of his nominations for the party's proportional representation list were rejected by the rest of the party leadership, while favored candidates of Moon were ranked near the top of the approved list. Kim offered to resign in March, but decided to stay on as leader after a personal visit from Moon.[34] Kim affirmed that he would continue to attempt to change the party's image, stating that the events had shown the party was "still unable to move on from its old ways".[28]

Though losing votes to the People's Party formed by Ahn, Chun and Kim Han-gil—particularly in Honam[18]—the party emerged as the overall winner of the election, garnering a plurality of seats (120 seats) in the National Assembly with a margin of one seat over the Saenuri Party. Lee Hae-chan returned to the Assembly as an independent representing Sejong City. Following its election victory, Kim Chong-in announced that the Minjoo Party would change its emphasis from welfare to economic growth and structural reform. Kim stated that the party would also change its position to support the establishment of for-profit hospitals, in contrast to the party's earlier opposition to the policy.[35]

2017 presidential election victoryEdit

After the constitutional court impeached president Park Geun-hye over bribery, the Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in won the presidential election with a 41.1% plurality of the votes, with Hong Joon-pyo of Liberty Korea coming second with 24%.

Under Lee Hae-chan(August 2018~)Edit

After 2017 presidential election victory, the party focused on next election, the Local elections. Democratic Party won again the election in 2018.

2018 Local election victoryEdit


The Party has a wide range of policies; some of these include:[36]

Economic policiesEdit

  • Support a market economy.
  • Encourage the growth of agricultural, livestock and fishing industries and develop agricultural and fishing villages.
  • Promote innovation and prepare South Korea for the jobs of the future.
  • Establish a department in charge of science and technology policy.
  • Raise the minimum wage.

Social policiesEdit

  • Strengthen the social safety net.
  • Guarantee healthcare and housing as a basic right.
  • Improve equal opportunity for all regardless of background, including in education.
  • Expand educational support for those in marginalized classes.
  • Support gender equality and oppose discrimination.

Foreign policiesEdit

  • Raise the morale of the military and strengthen rewards for veterans.
  • Strengthen the Korea–U.S. alliance and follow proactive, cooperative diplomacy with neighbouring countries.
  • Expand support for enhancing the rights of Korean expatriates overseas.

Reunification of North and South KoreaEdit

  • Strongly support denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and work toward peace.
  • Create a foundation for reunification through exchange and cooperation.
  • Expand support for human rights and people’s welfare.

Political reformEdit

  • Recover people's trust in government after the 2016 South Korean political scandal.
  • Fight corruption.
  • Give more money to local governments.
  • Integrate representative democracy and direct democracy.

List of leadersEdit


  • Note: ERC - as head of Emergency Response Committee
No. Name Term of office Election results
Took office Left office
1 Co-leadership
Kim Han-gil(김한길)   Ahn Cheol-soo(안철수)
26 March 2014 31 July 2014 No election
Park Young-sunERC(박영선) 4 August 2014 18 September 2014 Appointed
Moon Hee-sangERC(문희상) 18 September 2014 9 February 2015 Appointed
2 Moon Jae-in


9 February 2015 27 January 2016 see 2015 election
Kim Chong-inERC(김종인) 27 January 2016 27 August 2016 Appointed
3 Choo Mi-ae


27 August 2016 25 August 2018 see 2016 election
4 Lee Hae-chan


25 August 2018 Incumbent see 2018 election

Assembly leaders (Floor leaders)Edit

No. Name Term of office
Took office Left office
1 Jun Byung-hun (전병헌) 26 March 2014 7 May 2014
2 Park Young-sun (박영선) 7 May 2014 2 October 2014
Kim Young-rok (김영록) 2 October 2014 8 October 2014
3 Woo Yoon-keun (우윤근) 8 October 2014 6 May 2015
4 Lee Jong-kul (이종걸) 6 May 2015 4 May 2016
5 Woo Sang-ho (우상호) 4 May 2016 16 May 2017
6 Woo Won-shik (우원식) 16 May 2017 11 May 2018
7 Hong Young-pyo (홍영표) 11 May 2018 8 May 2019
8 Lee In-young (이인영) 8 May 2019 Incumbent

Election resultsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Candidate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
2017 Moon Jae-in (문재인) 13,423,800 41.1% Elected  Y

Legislative electionsEdit

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
123 / 300
6,069,744 25.5%   21 seats; Plurality Opposition Kim Chong-in (김종인)

Local electionsEdit

Election Metropolitan mayor/Governor Provincial legislature Municipal mayor Municipal legislature Election leader
9 / 17
349 / 789
78 / 226
1,157 / 2,898
Kim Han-gil (김한길)
Ahn Cheol-soo (안철수)
14 / 17
652 / 824
151 / 226
1,638 / 2,927
Choo Mi-ae (추미애)


  1. ^ Officially described as "sea blue" (바다파랑) by the party.
  2. ^ 共同民主黨 or other variants are translated names in Chinese and Japanese.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 우리의 발자취 (in Korean). Democratic Party of Korea. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b The Democratic Party of Korea is described as a liberal party by numerous sources:
  3. ^ "South Korea ahead of legislative elections" (PDF). European Parliamentary Research Service. 7 April 2016. The social-liberal Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK, Together Democratic Party) is the main opposition force.
  4. ^ "An Identity Crisis for South Korea's Opposition". The Diplomat. 31 December 2015. South Korea's main opposition social-liberal party is reeling (again) from intraparty factional struggle. Rebranded earlier this week "the Minjoo Party of Korea" (formerly New Politics Alliance for Democracy), the party is searching for a new identity and direction after high profile and popular assemblyperson Ahn Cheol-soo defected on December 13.
  5. ^ "The loser in South Korea's last presidential race has another go". The Economist. 30 March 2017. The country now faces a snap presidential election on May 9th. After almost a decade of conservative rule, the ballot looks likely to be a victory for the more socially liberal Minjoo party: its support is the highest it has ever been, at 50%. Mr Moon, who led the party until January last year, has topped the polls for president for almost three months. The latest sounding puts his support at 35% in a crowded field.
  6. ^ "The politics of homophobia in South Korea". East Asia Forum. 4 July 2016.
  7. ^ Steger, Isabella. "Being a progressive politician in Korea doesn't stop you from being homophobic". Quartz. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b The Democratic Party of Korea is described as a centrist party by numerous sources:
  9. ^
  10. ^ Park, Cheoljoong (16 March 2014). 바다파랑 '새정치민주연합', 썩지 않는 바다처럼 (in Korean). News1. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  11. ^ Park, Seung-ju (19 October 2016). 더민주, 오늘 원외 민주당 통합...'민주당' 이름 되찾는다 (in Korean). News1. Retrieved 19 October 2016.".
  12. ^ "Main Opposition To Be Called 'The Minjoo Party Of Korea'". Traffic Broadcasting System. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  13. ^ Choi, He-suk (20 March 2014). 새정치민주연합 영문 당명 확정 (in Korean). The Korea Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Democratic Party, Ahn Cheol-soo agree to create new party". The Dong-A Ilbo. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Co-chairmen quit amid election rubble". Korea JoongAng Daily. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Main opposition party picks ex-Roh aide as new leader".
  17. ^ "Roh son's speech creates stir". The Korea Times. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  18. ^ a b "In liberal stronghold, voters give main opposition party a lashing". The Hankyoreh. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  19. ^ "NPAD supporters wish for troika". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Ahn rejects Moon's call for joint NPAD leadership". The Korea Herald. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  21. ^ "NPAD's Moon rejects Ahn demand". Korea JoongAng Daily. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Ahn Cheol-soo calls it quits with NPAD". The Korea Times. 13 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Kim departs party he co-founded". Korea JoongAng Daily. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Ahn vows to move forward as 3rd political force". The Korea Herald. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Former Kim DJ aide exits Minjoo Party". The Korea Herald. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Ahn Cheol-Soo, Chun Jung-Bae To Create New Party". TBS eFM. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "Moon Jae-in steps down as leader of The Minjoo Party of Korea". The Hankyoreh. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  28. ^ a b "Minjoo's identity must be changed: Kim Chong-in". Korea JoongAng Daily. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  29. ^ "South Koreans go to the polls in parliamentary election". Business Insider. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  30. ^ "Can a Right Wing Defector Save Korea's Liberal Opposition?". The Diplomat. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  31. ^ "South Korean president replaces minister, 6 Cabinet members". United Press International. 19 July 1989. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Former P.M. quits Minjoo Party in nomination feud". The Korea Herald. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  33. ^ "Kim Jong-in Gets Rid of Pro-Roh Dominance and Replaces the Mainstream: Signs of Factional Conflict". The Kyunghyang Shinmun. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  34. ^ "Opposition chief quells dissenters". The Korea Herald. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  35. ^ "Opposition party shifting to growth". The Korea Times. 21 April 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  36. ^ 강령·당헌·당규·윤리규범 (in Korean). Democratic Party of Korea. Retrieved 8 December 2019.

External linksEdit