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Issues & Insights Vol. 06 – No. 18

Having experienced the ups and downs of both conservative and progressive regimes, a smal but growing number of Koreans have concluded that a healthy mix of the two is essential. South Korea’s maturation into a democracy with differentiated ideas and opinions has yielded two new groups of people with alternative ideas who are speaking out against the conservative GNP (Grand National Party), as well as against the progressive Uri Party. Labeling themselves the “new right” and “new left,” these two groups represent at least 10,000 Koreans, and are visible in scholarly debates, nongovernmental organizations, think tanks, Christian groups, media, internet, and elsewhere. Disappointed by both the right and the left, these movements are gaining momentum within South Korea.