Wednesday, December 19, 2012

South Koreans Choose Daughter of Dictator as New President

Ms. Park Geun Hye is the daughter of the nation's longest-serving dictator Park Chung-hee.

East Asians love political dynasties, despite their lip service to the otherwise. With the election of Shinzo Abe, Japan is after all a proud member of East Asia.

From Bloomberg News (12/19/2012):

Park Geun Hye was elected president of South Korea, becoming the first woman to lead Asia’s fourth- biggest economy more than 30 years after her father’s reign as dictator ended with his assassination.

Park, 60, of the ruling New Frontier Party, led main opposition nominee Moon Jae In, 51.7 percent to 47.9 percent with 94.2 percent of the vote counted, the National Election Commission said on its website as of 12:55 a.m. local time. Moon, 59, conceded defeat, saying he was sorry he couldn’t fulfill the expectations of his supporters.

The never-married daughter of the nation’s longest-serving dictator will lead a country with one of the world’s most entrenched gender gaps. She must confront a slowing economy, widening income disparity and re-engagement with North Korea after the totalitarian state’s rocket launch last week.

“Park’s victory is historically symbolic,” said Lee Nae Young, a political science professor at Korea University in Seoul. “Voters decided she will offer the most stable leadership to navigate the country through a global recession, and mounting internal and external uncertainties, especially in foreign affairs and national security.”

Park will take office on Feb. 25, when President Lee Myung Bak’s single five-year term ends.

“This is your victory,” she told a crowd in Seoul. “You’ve opened a new era and I will carry your trust deeply in my heart.”

(Full article at the link)

This is your victory. This is a new era. Hmmm. Where have I seen these words before?

What's historical about her victory escapes me, other than the fact that she is a woman. I suppose that's enough as "historical".


Anonymous said...

I'm fairly ignorant of the average beliefs of most Asians so I don't quite understand the significance of this election. Is it possible for her to become a dictator? Do they have a constitution with checks and balances and term limits? Maybe someone could elaborate a little further what this may mean for foreign relations between SK and Japan, China, USA, and NK. Also, maybe someone could elaborate what direction she may take domestic policy. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be a lot of this kind of thing happening lately: elect an African-American president then play the race card, or elect a woman and play the sexism card, etc. It's certainly effective at dividing the population and keeping them distracted from the REAL issues at hand.

Anonymous said...

"African-American" president's father was not even an African-American. He was African. But that's minor detail for his supporters.

Ms. Park has been advocating even stronger ties with the US, just like Abe.

Anonymous said...

Noona Gangnam Style!

Anonymous said...

It's a minor detail compared to all the other shit that he's done or allowed to happen under his watch. I heard Romney broke many laws and rules before and during his campaign (on top of all his flip-flopping), but he was still selected to be the republican candidate.

Farce much? Broken system is broken.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment @ 2:05 PM:

For some people race and sex aren't 'cards' to be played. They're an everyday lived reality and are REAL issues.

Do you shirk away from actually talking about the racism/sexism in society because of a few uncomfortable moments? If you could tolerate them and actually listen maybe you wouldn't sound like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:49AM
They're not real issues in the context of justifying support for a politician. If you could learn to read and actually understand the concept of context, then maybe you wouldn't sound like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:49 AM
I've been dealing with racism and sexism my entire life. You're barking up the wrong tree.

"The real issues that affect people" are exactly what the race/gender card excuse distracts from. When politicians throw it around to deflect criticism against them, it loses its true meaning for the rest of us.

You're too eager to jump to conclusions and attack people who are potentially on your own side. Shouldn't you be directing your insults towards the people making the rest of us miserable? Or perhaps you're just one of them.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon at 2:01PM, anon 10:49AM's point is not about sexism or racism. It's about using them as distraction from the real issues, as increasingly happening in the US, in Japan, in many places. I don't think he's attacking anyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm from 2:01pm and no I was not attacking anyone. I know next to nothing about politics in Japan or Korea so I was just wondering what her being elected might affect. I didn't even think once that she was a woman because it doesn't matter. I just read she is the daughter of some dictator and that is why I asked for more context and maybe the changing zeitgeist of Korean politics due to her election. Race and gender were not even in my mind. Thanks for reading and responding to me, areva and others!

Post a Comment