Dictator’s Daughter Declares Presidential Candidacy

Park Geun-hye Officially Declares her Candidacy for South Korean President

Prominent member of the ruling Saenuri Party Park Geun-hye (daughter of former military dictator Park Chung-hee) formally declared her candidacy for this December’s South Korean presidential elections yesterday.

Announcing the announcement last week, Park took to her Twitter account to say:

@GH_PARK: I dream of a country where anyone can dream of their own dreams and realise their potential and talents. I’d like to make a fresh start and [announce my aims to] create such a country at Times Square on the 10th of July. I hope you come and join me.

The election of Park to the Blue House would be a first. Like many democracies across the world, a woman has never been elected as president in South Korea and Ms. Park’s presidency would cross an important gender barrier in a society that is still seen as fundamentally sexist by some. Launching her bid under the slogan ‘A Country Where My Dreams Can Come True’, Park’s campaign has already come under fire from within her own party for allegedly copying her logo from a rival candidate’s.

Uninspired by her dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream, many netizens commenting on the popular Korean web portal Nate were more concerned that the only dream that might come true is Park’s own pursuit of political power. While the election of a woman undoubtedly signals an interesting shift in Korean politics, Park is known for her conservative stance and allegedly once likened her politics to former conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (nothing wrong there then!).

With North-South tensions at a steady high, what effect will the possible election of another conservative president have on the Korean peninsula?

From YouTube:

Park Geun-hye Officially Declares her Candidacy for South Korean President

Park Geun-hye Officially Declares her Candidacy for South Korean President

Park Geun-hye Officially Declares her Candidacy for South Korean President

From Nate:

Park Geun Hye Announces Presidential Candidacy: ‘I Will Share the Peoples’ Pain.’

‘I will change the focus of the paradigm of governmental management to the life and happiness of the individual.’

A push for economic democratization, lifelong welfare and the process of trust on the Korean peninsula.

On July 10, Saenuri Party member Park Geun Hye, the former head of the Emergency Measures Committee [de facto leader of the party], announced her challenge for the presidency.

Former committee head Park, who is the ruling party’s strongest runner for the next electoral term, announced her candidacy in the 18th South Korean Presidential Election at Times Square in Seoul’s Yeodeungpo district on the morning of July 10, saying: ‘I will share the pain of all Korean citizens, and solve it together with them; I will give all I have as we make a Korea in which the individual dreams of citizens can become a reality.’

The challenge to the presidency by former committee head Park is her second since 2007. As the daughter of former president Park Chung Hee, Park Geun Hye has been elected a national assembly member five times. Five years ago, after losing to President Lee Myung Bak in the presidential election of what was then the Hannara Party, she formed the ‘General Situation Debate’ and strengthened her position as a powerful candidate for the presidency.

In her announcement to run for the presidency, former party leader Park indicated that ‘In Korean politics the problem is not that the lives of Koreans are being made stressful, rather it is because we are only absorbed with fighting and slander that has no relevance to the lives of ordinary Koreans. And far from putting citizens at ease, politics even makes them worry about their security.’

Park went on ‘Now are the times that we must change the governmental paradigm from the country to the people, with a focus on the lives and happiness of individuals,’ making clear that her priority was ‘the happiness of the people’.

She proposed three key tasks for the ‘happiness of the public’: to realize economic democratization, to create jobs, and the establishment of a Korean welfare system.

In particular, Park said, ‘Through economic democratization, I will work to help the economically weak, including small and medium-sized business owners see their dreams come true again.’ She added, ‘It is a task of the age to realize economic democratization by establishing fair and clear disciplines of the market economy.’

Furthermore, ‘Through the creation of good jobs, so that we can realize the dreams of those who want to work, we will construct a system of governmental management with a focus on employment rates, and establish a custom welfare system for the complete life-cycle [of citizens]; welfare will support and draw out the individual capabilities of citizens, and make possible their independence and independent living.’

Concerning education, Park said, ‘Education is the primary policy of growth and welfare. People should be the most important object to invest in and raising good people should be the fundamental way of enhancing national competitiveness.’

Concerning national security and North Korea, she said, ‘I will take a first step toward a new Korean Peninsula built on trust and peace by severing the vicious cycle of inter-Korean distrust, confrontation, and uncertainty.’ and underscored, ‘For this, I will promote the process of trust on the Korean Peninsula.’

Former party head Park said, ‘Having been in politics for all this time, even when I failed I have always kept my promises’ and ‘I have made my political pledge and fought to keep my promises to the Korean people, and I will continue to do so in the future.’

She said that ‘I want to make a country in which our people can dream any dream,’ and explained her hope that she would, ‘become a president who can nurture the dreams that all citizens have in their hearts. I want to create a government that supports those dreams and makes them flourish.’

Comments from Nate:

박현호:

For the last four and a half years, did the Democratic Party seize power? I agree with it, but why get rid of MB?

김인환:

I don’t want to share [my pain and suffering] with you.

안용성:

She clearly doesn’t know that doing nothing actually helps the public.

김홍중:

I’m really curious… What’s Park Geun-hye been up to so far? What’s her specialty? I honestly have no idea…..

김남희:

Isn’t she the same fucking old bat who opposed the special law to redeem pro-Japanese collaborator’s property yet seems to be willing to sell out her own country?

심주현:

Sharing pains that the ruling party caused? ke ke it’s like giving someone roast meat but then beating them with it.

박미진:

Park Geun-hye who voted in favour of the FTA and did her makeup in the bathroom, you, the president? No!!!! FAIL!!!

최성욱:

[She’s] never been impoverished, never been worried about money, never been worried about skipping meals, never been worried about her kids, never been worried about housing, aha! There must be something to worry about… your drug-using brother with more money than sense…and… you must be worried that, if the opposition grabs power, you won’t be as well off as you have been under the MB administration. What do you think of the MBC strikes? Why don’t you sort that out first, princess?

김무영:

What on earth do you want to share? You’re a princess, you’ve never been a citizen

서윤석:

The Presidents’ children aren’t treated like royalties these days, but things were different during the military regimes from Park Chung-hee to Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo. The Park regime was no less than a monarchy — who could’ve dared challenge him and his family? Even if she had nothing to do with her father’s 19-year-long dictatorship, she was a princess during that time, enjoying the privilege as a Blue House resident and the President’s daughter. She owes the Korean people an enormous debt for having lived in that house for 19 years. Besides, her personality was molded by that experience. It’s well reflected in her political stance: secretive politics, being indifferent to others, ignoring journalists and never getting phone calls from the press. Ask a shrink what happens to your personality after spending your whole adolescent period like Park Geun-hye did.

구용성:

Isn’t it for your own dreams that you want to become a president, not ours?

박미진:

What did you do, Park Geun Hye, when Lee Myung Bak supported the US-Korea FTA, and shared out tens of trillions of citizens’ tax money with his friends on the four rivers [project]? Where were you, what did you do when when Koreans were opposing imports of US beef from cows twenty months and older, and on that cold winter’s day they were hit with a water canon?? I mean, weren’t you the one who gave us this pain, throwing away more than Lee Myung Bak does, joining hands with him, giggling and chatting?

문기수:

Are you ill?

한수아:

It’s horrible to even think about it. It was enough letting MB do that.

오경균:

It’s the very people who push for the US-Korea FTA who are calling for economic democratisation ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke

이종진:

If I fulfil my dream and shift my suffering onto you bastards, then I should be president, elect me, morons. It’s like they’ll just unconditionally elect assembly members.

마성영:

Men in your twenties! Don’t just vote with your keyboards this time, get out there and actually vote!

온장우:

Don’t talk big!

김대식:

Why are you saying you’re gonna share our pains when you’re the one who caused it? Why did you fail to stop Lee Myung-bak?

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  • Angry at Lim Su Kyung

    Genetics does not determine a person’s character or disqualify them from participating in the affairs of a democracy. Personally, I think there are better possible candidates within the Saenuri party and I would prefer to see Kim Moon Soo representing them. but Park is still 10000x better than anyone the DUP will nominate. Better a dictator’s daughter who is committed to democracy than another dictator’s fifth columnists.

    • Sawada Tsunayoshi

      look at what is happening in south korea right now..baek nam ki a 69 year old farmer fell into coma andhave brain damage because of Park Geun Hye’s harsh response against protest

  • Yu Bumsuk

    Lots of feel-good drivel up to inauguration and then what will happen? It’s anyone’s guess but it should be fun (and a hell of a lot better than lefty dumbassery.

  • Anonton

    Maybe she’ll be the next aung san suu kyi? Lol

  • lonetrey

    She’s not going to be winning any popularity contests anytime soon… =/

    • Reluctant conservative

      As long as the DUP insults refugees and defends dictators, Park Geun-hye doesn’t have to worry about losing a popularity contest. A charisma contest, yeah, she’d lost that. but not a popularity contest…

  • redwhitedude

    I have a feeling that she is going to be president with the way things are going. She really isn’t an inspiring figure. No new ideas. I wish people will drop this moniker of the dictator’s daughter. That’s long past.

  • Chucky3176

    She’s sounding more like a Socialist than a Conservative. What’s all this talk of welfare and free handouts for immigrants?

    • Yu Bumsuk

      Stealing wind out of the left’s sails. (New) Labour in the UK and the Liberals in Canada stayed in power for years and years by employing centre-left rhetoric and employing centre-right policies. I suspect that’s her strategy here, though I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be not so much to the centre of the right.

      • Very interesting point.

    • redwhitedude

      She must be kissing up to somebody.

  • Ruaraidh

    I’m a bit confused that the author seems to be implying that Thatcher’s response to the invasion of the Falklands, and to militant unionism driven stagflation, were wrong.

  • C84

    Honestly, I’m no fan, but I would have strongly preferred her as the current president rather than Lee Myung-Bak, who really is nothing more than a mindless stooge for the US and Japan. It would also have been an indication that SK was getting past its deeply ingrained patriarchal ways.

    • Reluctant conservative

      Lee Myung Bak may not pander to the anti-american extremists on the left, but I don’t think this makes him a “stooge” of the US.

  • Beth

    I’d like to know what her idea of “economic democratization” really entails…I noticed it cropping up a lot as a common search term on various internet portals, so I suspect I’m not alone…

  • Random Person

    All I know is, Margaret Thatcher did not share the people’s pain just as much as Reagan did not like black people. So comparing herself to the former prime minister…bad feelings.

  • 참을수없는가벼움

    To many intellectuals’ embarrassment, the ruling party’s presidential hopeful Park has so far failed to prove she is a competent leader not by words but by actions. Looking at the trajectory of her political career, nothing praiseworthy has attained by her own efforts. The only thing she can boast is the power to attract votes from conservatives’ strongholds because she is just the daughter of Park Jeong-hyee, a polarizing dictator for his double-edged feats: rapid economic modernization and brutal oppression of human rights. Her proposed vision for the presidency is as disappointing as her poor political career. The blueprint proposed appears to be less of a pacakage of resolutions to pending critical matters than a political catchphrase destitute of substance.

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