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?
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.
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:
I don’t want to share [my pain and suffering] with you.
She clearly doesn’t know that doing nothing actually helps the public.
I’m really curious… What’s Park Geun-hye been up to so far? What’s her specialty? I honestly have no idea…..
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?
Sharing pains that the ruling party caused? ke ke it’s like giving someone roast meat but then beating them with it.
Park Geun-hye who voted in favour of the FTA and did her makeup in the bathroom, you, the president? No!!!! FAIL!!!
[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?
What on earth do you want to share? You’re a princess, you’ve never been a citizen
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.
Isn’t it for your own dreams that you want to become a president, not ours?
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?
Are you ill?
It’s horrible to even think about it. It was enough letting MB do that.
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
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.
Men in your twenties! Don’t just vote with your keyboards this time, get out there and actually vote!
Don’t talk big!
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?