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Ahn Cheol-soo Practically Announces Presidential Run
By Kim Jin-woo
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On July 19, Ahn Cheol-soo, 50, Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University, remarked whether he is going to be a candidate in Korea's 18th presidential race by saying, "I must move forward if more people agree with my thoughts."

In his book published on this date, Ahn Cheol-soo's Thoughts: The Future Map of Korea as We Want, Ahn wrote: "Starting from this book, I will go on communicating my thoughts more in detail. If more people say that my thoughts are different from what they have expected, then I am not qualified."

This move is generally interpreted as a step forward in his future participation in the presidential election since Ahn is presenting his plans regarding pending political and social issues, although he has not directly commented on his presidential bid in the political arena.
"You should choose a job that you can have fun with and do well." Ahn said in his book, adding, "Challenging can be tough--but should not be scary."

Ahn Cheol-soo, Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University

He wrote in the preface, "After the National Assembly election on April 11 had resulted in the unexpected defeat of the opposition, as I felt political expectations on me escalating again, I just had to think deeply about what people wanted and where such longings came from."

Ahn explained why he published this book, saying, "I thought that I must clearly understand what these people want and, most of all, dispassionately judge whether my thoughts can meet their expectations and whether I am qualified and able to do it."

He further said, "I believe it is only right to tell as many people as possible about the pending and current issues of our society and listen to their opinions as well."

The book is written in a form of dialogue between Ahn and Professor Jae Jeong-im at Semyung Graduate School of Journalism.

On July 19, At Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul, copies of Ahn Cheol-soo's Thoughts are arranged on the bookstand while people are reading them. / Park Min-kyu

Ahn presented his views on such political and social issues as justice, welfare, chaebol (Korean conglomerates), irregular workers and media industry strikes, as well as on inter-Korea relations. He stated that the key tasks of our society should be building a just and fair welfare state and making a policy for peace on the Korean peninsula.

Ahn said, "I plan to communicate my thoughts in detail to more people and listen to their opinions." He added, "There are things that I have not fully explained here but I believe that can be complemented by various events."

This indicates that he intends to expand his contact with people very soon, either through some publication ceremony or events like Youth Concert, which he hosted until last year.

Yoo Min-young, former head of the Cheong Wa Dae press center, who is acting as a spokesperson for Ahn, said, "With this book, he will be talking about his thoughts and listen to other people more actively."

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