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Coin Gate Scandal Lawmaker ‘to Rejoin South Korea’s Biggest Political Party’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Coin Gate Scandal Lawmaker ‘to Rejoin South Korea’s Biggest Political Party’

The lawmaker at the center of South Korea’s “Coin Gate” scandal is set to return to the Democratic Party, the National Assembly’s biggest political party.

Per iNews24, Kim Nam-guk is set to become a Democratic Party (DP) member again by “early May.”

Kim is currently a member of the Democratic Alliance for Democracy Party, a coalition of small parties with close links to the DP.

But the Democratic Alliance for Democracy “unanimously decided” to merge with the DP at a meeting held on April 22.

Coin Gate Scandal MP Returns to Biggest Party?


The move will give the DP a “large majority” in the Assembly, following a disastrous defeat for President Yoon Seok-yul’s People’s Power Party (PPP) in the April 10 General Election.

However, not everyone will be joyed to hear news of Kim’s return to the DP. Allegations that Kim sold cryptoassets while serving on a crypto regulations-making committee caused major controversy last year.

And subsequent investigations into Kim and other lawmakers have given rise to a seemingly endless flow of political bickering about MPs owning crypto.

The controversy Kim saw ostracised from the DP. He eventually left the party and joined the alliance, a group of smaller left-wing parties.

The alliance was formed ahead of the election and gained 14 seats in the National Assembly.

Kim stood as the incumbent candidate for the Ansan Danwon constituency and comfortably beat his PPP rival.

Kim received 51.32% of the vote, with PPP candidate Park Soon-ja gaining under 47%.

Lawmaker Kim Nam-guk.
Lawmaker Kim Nam-guk. (Source: Kim Nam-gukTV/YouTube)

‘No Obstacles’ Stand in Kim’s Way


Yoon Young-deok, the co-chair of the Democratic Alliance, told reporters after the meeting:

“The Democratic Alliance has unanimously decided to merge with the Democratic Party. We hope to complete the merger process before May 3, the date of the DP floor leader election.”

Yoon Young-deok said that the process still needed to be approved by the National Election Commission.

But, assuming this process is problem-free, the co-chair said the “result” would be “the formal dissolution of the Democratic Alliance.”

After leaving the DP, Kim initially continued his duties as an independent lawmaker. In March, he announced he was joining the alliance, telling his Facebook followers:

“No matter how much I think about it, I cannot just sit back and look at the Yoon Seok-yeol government’s dictatorial rule and violent actions.”

Reporters quizzed Yoon Young-deok on whether Kim would indeed be allowed to rejoin the DP. Yoon said that this would be the case “unless members of the alliance oppose the merger.”

Scandal’s Fallout


Laws introduced since the Coin Gate case have seen top judges and civil servants forced to make annual crypto declarations.

The declarations require public officials to declare all of their – and their immediate families’ – crypto holdings.

The merger will take the Democratic Party’s seat count in the 300-seat assembly from 142 to 156.

And the merger could have further ramifications for the large and highly active South Korean crypto community. Prior to the April 10 election, the DP pledged that, if elected, it would pressure regulators to approve Bitcoin and altcoin spot ETFs.

Some crypto advocates have expressed their doubts about the DP’s motives for making this pledge. However, regulators said earlier this year that they would consider the matter after the election.