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There has been a tradition of liberal parties since 1955, often organized around persons. Presently the Democratic United Party, the Democratic Labor Party, and the New Progressive Party are the main successors of the liberal parties' tradition
"Liberal" movements in Korea also differ markedly from liberal movements elsewhere by strongly emphasizing patriotism and ethnic nationalism (especially with regard to Korean reunification) instead of "civic," or "liberal nationalism", a characteristic shared with North Korea. These emphasis has resulted in "Liberalism" being closely associated with Pro-North Korea sentiments in the political sphere. In this critical respect "liberalism" in South Korea bears very little resemblance to "liberalism" as it is understood elsewhere in the world.
N.B.: The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it is not required for parties to label themselves as a "liberal party."
From Democratic Party to Democratic Korea Party 
- 1955: Chang Myon founds the Democratic Party (Minju Dang)
- 1957: Unity Party secedes from the Democratic Party
- 1960: Party splits into the Democratic Party and the New People's Party
- 1961: Party is banned
- 1963: Party is refounded as the New Democracy Party (Sinmin Dang), led from 1971 by Kim Dae-jung. When Kim fled to Japan, Kim Young-sam became the party leader
- 1981: Party is banned and Kim Dae-jung is sentenced to the death penalty. Factions of the party continue as the Democratic Korea Party (Minjuhanguk Dang)
- 1985: Most of the party joins the ⇒ New Korean Democratic Party, a small and unsuccessful faction
New Korean Democratic Party 
- 1985: Lee Min Woo founds the New Korean Democratic Party (Sinhanminju Dang), joined after the 1985 elections by the majority of the ⇒ Democratic Korea Party (including Kim Dae-jung and Kim Young-sam)
- 1987: The "two Kims" and their followers leave the party to form the ⇒ Democratic Reunification Party; the New Korean Democratic Party disappears
Democratic Reunification Party 
- 1987: Kim Dae-jung and Kim Young Sam leave the ⇒ New Korean Democratic Party and form the Democratic Reunification Party (Tongil Minju Dang)
- 1987: Kim Dae-jung leaves the Democratic Reunification Party and forms the ⇒ Party for Peace and Democracy
- 1990: The party merges with the conservative Democratic Justice Party and the New Democratic Republican Party into the conservative Democratic Liberal Party (Minju Jayu Dang). A faction forms the ⇒ Democratic Party
From Party for Peace and Democracy to Democratic Party 
- 1987: Kim Dae-jung leaves the ⇒ Democratic Reunifaction Party and forms the Party for Peace and Democracy (P'yonghwa Minjudang)
- 1991: The party is reorganised into the New United Democratic Party (Sinminju Yeonhapdang, Sinmindang for short)
- 1991: The party merges with the ⇒ Democratic Party and takes the name Democratic Party (Minjudang)
- 1995: Most of the party follows Kim into the ⇒ National Congress for New Politics, the Democratic Party disappears
Democratic Party (1990) 
- 1990: A faction of the ⇒ Democratic Reunification Party forms the Democratic Party (Minjudang)
- 1991: The party merges with the ⇒ Party for Peace and Democracy into the ⇒ New Democratic Party
From National Congress for New Politics to Democratic Party 
- 1995: Most of the ⇒ Democratic Party follows Kim Dae-jung into the National Congress for New Politics (Saejeongchi Gungminhoeui) and succeeded in 1997 in electing Kim to the presidency of South Korea
- 2000: The party is renamed Millennium Democratic Party (Sae Cheonnyeon Minjudang, 새천년민주당)
- 2003: After the election of its candidate Roh Moo-hyun to the presidency, his followers leave the party and formed ⇒ Uri Party
- 2005: The party is renamed Democratic Party (Min-ju Dang)
Uri Party 
- 2003: After the election of its candidate Roh Moo-hyun to the presidency, his followers leave the ⇒ Millennium Democratic Party and form the Uri Party (Yeollin Uri Dang, 열린 우리당), sometimes known as "Our Open Party." Lasted until August 19, 2007.
The UNDP 
- 2007: Most members of the Uri Party, Son Hak-gyu's conservative-liberal benches, and a group of the civil movement organizations are united as a new political party called The United New Democratic Party (Daetonghap Minju Sindang, 대통합민주신당).
Democratic Party (2008) 
On 17 February 2008, the UNDP merged with the Democratic Party (민주당), forming the United Democratic Party (통합민주당, now renamed as the 'Democratic Party'). This was four years after the Uri Party (열린우리당)'s split from Millennium Democratic Party (새천년민주당). 
Democratic United Party 
Liberal leaders 
- “세계화 시대, 개인주의로 가는 포스트 386 주목”
- Distorting Nation - Hankyoreh Reporter Go Meong-seop endorses "peace and reunification-oriented ethnic nationalism" over "anti-communist and 'divided' state-based nationalism"
- Juche: Idea for All Times: "If we have a more careful look through the 1955 speech and other early references to Juche we will see that this was what Kim Il Song meant: not a coherent ideology, not even the idea of "self-reliance," but rather the need to emphasize one's national identity as a Korean, a need to see Korea's national interests as the top priority."
- Reformed Socialist’ Professor Skewers Anachronistic Korean Left - Former leftist student activist Shin Ji-Ho notes the political "primacy on race and reunification" on the part of his former comrades
- Why Korea Should Embrace Multi-Culturalism
- Amid the anti-dictatorship democratization movement, the leftists of the South were divided, fighting each other over whether they should follow the North’s ideology or not... The concept of “blood is thicker than water” intervened, and the leftists soon became uncomfortable whenever the North was mentioned.
- 통합민주당 공식 출범, the Hankyoreh, Retrieved on 5 March 2008
See also 
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