In 2004 the Democratic Labor Party secured, for the first time, 10 seats in South Korea’s National Assembly. But within a few years the party’s progress was being undermined by infighting between its leading two factions, which had erupted both before the 2007 election, and when the election was taking place.
The two factions within the Democratic Labor Party had a very different focus. The ‘equality’ faction (People’s Democracy group) were mainly interested in civil liberties and social welfare issues. The ‘autonomy’ faction (National Liberation group) wanted to focus on building bridges with North Korea, and opposing American influence.
The 2007 presidential election was really the beginning of the end for the Democratic Labor Party, with the People’s Democracy faction breaking away to form the New Progressive Party. The Democratic Labor Party still won 5 seats in the 2008 National Assembly, with the New Progressive Party winning none. They were to win one seat in 2009, before the new Unified Progressive Party emerged at the end of 2011.