SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Young Sam today apologized for splitting the opposition vote in last week's presidential election and said his party will participate in coming general elections.
Kim's apology followed one Monday by his rival, Kim Dae Jung. The two Kims lost last Wednesday's balloting to Roh Tae Woo, candidate of the governing Democratic Justice Party.
Roh won with 37% of the vote.
Together, the two Kims received 55% of the vote. Opposition supporters blamed them for failing to overcome their personal ambitions and unite behind a single candidate.
"I offer my apologies to the people for failing to achieve the . . . great cause of ending military rule and attaining democracy," Kim Young Sam said today. "More than anything else, the failure to field a single opposition candidacy is responsible (for the defeat), and I . . . realize that I am to be blamed personally."
It was the first time Kim had formally stated that his Reunification Democratic Party would take part in National Assembly elections, indicating at least partial acceptance of Roh's victory.