A top contender to succeed South Korean President Moon Jae-in called income inequality the key issue in next year’s election and urged U.S. President Joe Biden to give Seoul a bigger role in pushing Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons.

Ruling Democratic Party leader Lee Nak-yon said in an interview from parliament Thursday he wants to see a plan that encourages voluntary financial contributions from corporations, in return for government incentives like tax cuts, to narrow income gaps and help those whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If the coronavirus situation doesn’t easily stabilize and people’s difficulties continue to worsen, we cannot look away,” Lee said.