Park Geun-hye, presidential candidate for the ruling conservative Saenuri Party is on the front cover of the current Asia edition of TIME magazine, sparking a mixed reaction from South Korean netizens regarding the use of the word ‘strongman’ that was subsequently changed to ‘dictator’ by TIME editors.
When rendered as two words, ‘strong man’ carries more positive connotations than ‘strongman’, and this interpretation was picked up by Park’s campaign, who attempted to put positive spin on the cover story with South Korean press.
The move has attracted a lot of attention on the South Korean internet from both conservative and progressive netizens; the change was first spotted on Twitter, and has already prompted parody from South Korean netizens:
And a Korean version of the cover has emerged on Twitter that translates ‘strongman’ as ‘dictator’ (dogjaeja – 독재자 [獨裁者]):
Progressives see the possibility of the children of dictators ruling both North and South Korea as highly undesirable, but Park maintains fairly broad popularity with the Korean electorate; many are prepared to accept the human rights abuses and undemocratic practices of her father’s regime, thanks to the economic successes of his government.
South Koreans vote on 19 December.
Comments from Nate:
1) The Saenuri Party really don’t know the difference between ‘strongman’ and ‘strong man’.
2) Even if they did understand the difference, they thought the people of South Korea wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
3) The people could see the difference, but didn’t care.
4) Regardless of how someone else wrote an article, they thought that they could interpret it in whatever way they wanted.
During the April 27, 1971 presidential election, despite the fact that there was all manner of underhanded manipulation of the process, Park Chung-hee came out with 6,342,828 votes to Kim Dae-jung’s 5,395,900 votes. Once Park realised that he could never win the next election under a direct election system, he enacted the 1972 Yushin Constitution, replacing the direct election method with an indirect one. During the next 20 years, Kim Dae-jung was put in prison, kept under house arrest, suffered a mysterious car ‘accident’, was kidnapped and threatened with death, and went through countless troubles.
Summary of the contents of the Yushin Constitution:
1. The removal of the ability of citizens to elect a president via direct election. In the rubber stamp congress, that would later cast their votes on behalf of the population inside a stadium, 99% supported Park Chung-hee’s re-election.
2. The president gained the ability to directly select one third of all of the members of the National Assembly, adding to the control of the president, that began with his control of the indirect election method. The ability of a president to chose one third of the National Assembly is a joke.
3. The president gained the ability to extend emergency powers for as long as he wished, meaning he could have anyone arrested, executed without trial, put in prison for life, or given a sentence in excess of five years. Those who opposed the Yushin Constitution were imprisoned without limits, or executed without trial. The Revolutionary Party Incident is the most representative case of this period.
So, the word is basically the same if it was the ‘daughter of Kim Jong Il,’ isn’t it?
Most foreigners should be taken aback by the news; it’s not that different from Stalin’s daughter running for the Russian presidential election. Actually, Stalin’s daughter said ‘My father was a dictator. I’m guilty for not taking a stand against him. Now he’s gone, the weight of his sins should fall on my shoulders’. But didn’t Park say something like ‘What my father has done should be judged by future historians’?
Strongman→the word that journalists used for Kim Jong Il or Gaddafi. So ‘The Strongman’s Daughter’ means ‘The Dictator’s Daughter,’ whilst ‘The Strong man’s Daughter’ means ‘The Strong leader’s Daughter.’ What is the Saenuri Party representative gonna say about this, that TIME accidently forgot a space between those words?
We’ve already stunned the world by choosing a guy with a criminal record as the president. And when we’ve got the dictator’s daughter elected as the president, we’ll once again take the world by surprise.. Our national dignity is being ruined by the Saenuri Party!!
Hey, Ilbe [conservative website] bugs! Why do you guys distort the meaning of the word? Let’s take a look at the list of guys who were called ‘strongmen’: Chile’s Pinochet, Egypt’s Mubarak, Cuba’s Castro, Libya’s Gaddafi, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, and South Korea’s Park Chung-hee. What? The Strong man’s Daughter? The word ‘strongman’ is often exchangeable with dictator. Are you that ignorant? Or, are you just bluffing about her reputation? It’s so embarrassing. Using your logic, Kim Jong Un should be ‘the strong man’s son.’ That’s why TIME changed the word ‘strongman’ to ‘dictator,’ probably out of spite.
Are they that embarrassed about the past to pretend they’re this stupid? Didn’t they say they were proud of the past?
[NYT]: ’Dictator’s Daughter Still Popular in Not-so-perfect Democratic Nation.’
[Reuters]: ’Korean Dictator’s Daughter runs for Presidential election’
[BBC]: ’Park Geun-hye, the Dictator’s Daughter VS Moon Jae-in, the Lawyer who was sent to Prison by the Dictator.’
[Boston Globe]: ’South Korean Dictator’s Daughter Becomes Presidential Candidate.’
[Le Monde]: ’Dictator’s Daughter Runs for Presidential Election.’
I feel absolutely mortified by her running in this election. It’s a national shame. I’m worried about what the foreign media is going to say if she gets elected. I bet Ilbe bugs’ll label TIME as a ‘commie magazine.’
Please Moon Jae-in, if you become president, may your first act be to designate Ilbe a harmful website^^^^^^^^^^^
The Life of Park Chung-hee: Graduation from the Daegu College of Education→Employment as primary school teacher in the city of Mungyeong in Gyeongbuk province→renamed Takaki Masao under the Japanese name-changing laws→Graduation from Japanese military academy→Pledge of loyalty to the Japanese emperor and entrance into the Manchurian army (the infamous Maruta Base)→hunted Korean Independence troops→collapse of the Japanese empire→renamed Park Chung-hee→joins the South Korean Workers’ Party→participation in the Yeosu Uprising→sentenced to prison for participation in Uprising→like the opportunist that he was, Park informs on his fellow members of the Workers’ Party (leading to 300 deaths)→takes power in May 16th coup d’etat→becomes president→revises constitution to allow for three terms→like the pro-Japanese he was, he enacts the Yushin constitution to ensure his power→assassinated by his henchman Kim Jaeg-yu→for the Park Chung-hee documentary, ‘Spitting on my Grave’ click this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-up2VNU8eo
Of course TIME wanted ‘strongmans to be interpreted as meaning dictator, but then the Saenuri Party claims in their stupid way that it was some kind of complement, so the magazine was forced to clarify and change the title to ‘Dictator’s Daughter’ ke ke ke ke ke ke
ke ke ke in the eyes of the conservative media, Kim Jong-un will always be a dictator while Park Chung-hee will always be just a strong ledaer…ke ke ke what crazy bullshit.. but however they try to spin the facts, the New Daily can’t follow…ke ke ke
Please big sister Geun-hye, just end your bid for the presidency, it’s too embarrassing.. ㅠ.ㅠ
It’s so embarrassing to be known as a pushover all across the world –– people think that our election is like the line of succession that got that lousy pig on the throne in North Korea. She came out as a candidate without any shame about her past.
TIME used to be a completely conservative paper, but starting in the 1970s it took a more moderate stance. Now they’re say that TIME is a left-wing paper? ke ke ke ridiculous
This will be a bit long but please read to the bottom. Park Chung-hee took the Japanese name Takaki Masao and became a lieutenant in the Japanese army. I can see perhaps not joining the Korean resistance troops but an officer in the Japanese army? What could he have been doing? So then he becomes a communist, but sells out 300 of his comrades, resulting in their deaths. He alone survives and goes on to pursue economic development. But he doesn’t pursue it independently, instead he relies on the Americans and the Japanese bastards, who were afraid of South Korea going over to communism since it seemed to be the more productive system. So these other countries turn us into an economic colony.
Park Geun-hye isn’t the same as her father, but she can’t deny that she is the daughter of a pro-Japanese traitor, communist, and dictator. The fact that the daughter of a dictator has become a presidential candidate is a reason for international embarrassment. Park Geun-hye herself has said that she received 600,000,000 KRW [approx. 428,955 EUR] won from Chun Doo-hwan, which would be 20,000,000,000 KRW [approx. 14.2m EUR] in today’s money. Only now does she talk about returning the money! Where is her sincerity! But what is really important is the fact that she does not recognise that her father did anything regrettable. What must other countries think of our democracy?! Are we deaf to the wails of those countless activists who were locked away in prisons and lost their lives!? The failure to clean out the Japanese collaborators after liberation has led directly to the power of the modern Saenuri Party. And if Park Geun-hye wins the election…I don’t know… Saenuri Party, the parts of collaborators, the elite. Will we even be left the crumbs after they finish eating their fill? We will be turned into beggars. Look to history, we must progress forward. We must support the Democratic United Party [DUP]. Those who sweated and suffered during the industrial period, but who also fought for this nation’s democracy despite their weaknesses should vote for the Democratic United Party!! Of course, there are many areas where the DUP does not measure up, but it is much better for the middle class than the Saenuri Party and we must think of the common man.
Park Geun-hye: supporters, congratulate me, I got on the cover of TIME, what luck.
Supporters: big sister… er.. that…that’s not what they mean…