Lee Joon-seok, chairman of the conservative main opposition People Power Party, picked former President Park Chung-hee as the most respected politician.
Asked if he intends to run for the 2027 Presidential election, Lee said, "If I succeed in the position of party leader, there will be many possibilities, but I don't want to rush."
In an interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun released on July 16, Lee cited Park as the most respected South Korean politician. "This is because Park led Korea's economic development," he said.
At the same time, Lee said, "It is somewhat regrettable that Park entered the path of a dictator after that." While praising Park's industrialization efforts, Lee drew a line from his dictatorship.
Regarding former President Park Geun-hye, who picked Lee to enter the politics circle, Lee said, “While seeing Park go to prison after the impeachment, I wanted to lead the new conservative politics.”
As for former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, who is regarded as a leading Presidential candidate in the opposition camp, he said, "I think there are a lot of immature things because he has never held an election. Yoon is popular now, so he is welcomed wherever he goes, but he will not be able to see what people really want."
On the stalled relationship between Korea and Japan, Lee said, "We should use the Tokyo Olympics as an opportunity to improve bilateral relations, but it is regrettable that the summit has yet to be decided. It is important for the two countries to make concessions."
Lee said, “I think it is unlikely to improve relations between the two countries within the Moon Jae-in government.”
Noting that the two sides cannot win 100 percent in diplomatic relations, Chairman Lee called for a dialogue, saying, "Korea and Japan should start negotiations even if they feel pressure in their home countries and if they have unsatisfactory results.
"What I want to work on the most in the upcoming Presidential election is studying international relations. I think there are many amateurish people in diplomacy even though Korean politicians are good at domestic politics."