Veteran Politician Bows Out After Poll Rout

Sohn Hak-kyu reacts at a press conference to announce his retirement from politics at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday. Sohn Hak-kyu reacts at a press conference to announce his retirement from politics at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday.

The seasoned politician and failed presidential candidate Sohn Hak-kyu announced his retirement from politics Thursday after a humiliating loss in Wednesday's by-elections.

"I am leaving politics today," Sohn said in a hastily arranged news conference at the National Assembly.

"It is my long-held belief that a politician should speak through elections. I was not chosen by voters in the July 30 by-elections and humbly accept the results."

Sohn is a four-term lawmaker who entered politics in 1993 and served as health minister, governor of Gyeonggi Province and, after defecting from the conservative camp, as head of the main opposition party.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 01, 2014 10:04 KST