Yesterday, conservative presidential candidate Park Geun-hye offered a formal apology to all those who suffered under the rule of her late father, military dictator Park Chung-hee, in an attempt to distance herself from the perceived negativity surrounding his decades-long rule. Although many still view Park’s father in favourable terms following the period of rapid economic development he oversaw, his rule was marred by wide-reaching human rights abuses and corruption after he came to power in a military coup in the 1960s.
In a press conference at the Saenuri Party offices in Seoul, Park Geun-hye accepted that ‘In the shadows of South Korea’s rapid growth there was pain, suffering and irregularities as well as various human rights abuses committed by authorities’, for which she said: ‘I deeply apologise to all those who were personally hurt and families members of victims of government abuse’.
With the presidential election just round the corner this December however, netizens remained skeptical, with many attributing her sudden redemption as a rather manipulative attempt to win votes.
The below article and comments were regarding the announcement leading up to the formal apology.
From Yonhap News:
Levelling with the ordinary citizen with honesty and sincerity
Saenuri presidential candidate Park Geun-hye plans to hold a press conference at the party headquarters regarding her controversial views on the past and her father, Park Chung-hee. A source close to her said that Park plans to make her stance clear about ‘her father and her views on his role.’
Growing concern over her stance in regard to the Coup, violation of constitution, and the judicial killing committed during Park Jung-hee’s presidency, commonly known as the People’s Revolutionary Party Incident [PRPI], she is expected to apologise and express her regrets for those who suffered. Her defensive remarks on the PRP Incident proved particularly disastrous last week for her campaign. Her campaign managers asked her to tackle the issue head-on and apologise in an honest and sincere manner.
As the eldest daughter of Park, she will express her personal agony but as a ruling party candidate, humbly accept the dark period in the modern Korean history at the hand of her father’s hand. Also on the table is her personal apology to the family of those who suffered under her father’s regime and an announcement of her plan to unite the nation deeply on her father’s legacy.
Her initial stance on the Coup and the violation of constitution was to ‘leave it to history to decide’ but is now expected to be changed in favour of respecting the opinions of expert panels and committees on historical investigation. One source close to her said she wished to ‘tell her story in an honest and sincere manner without embellishment’ to her campaign managers.
Park’s rating suffered a blow after her controversial comment on the PRPI on the 10th, with her rating dropping from 50% to low 40%. As the concern over her rating grew, Park said she ‘plans to go over the past’, indicating her change of heart.
Comments from Daum:
Apologising to win votes is not an apology. Don’t lie like 2MB…..
Anti-communism and nationalism are our only way and the only way to realize the freedom in this country
If this woman becomes president, she won’t be any less than 2MB.
Oh my, an apology from a princess, I don’t know what to fucking say.
None of the presidents we have had are perfect. Admit his wrongdoings and humbly apologise.
Wow, she must be desperate.
An apology for whom!!!?
What did she do as a politician?
Apologising for votes without any sincerity is to insult the families of the PRPI.
What press conference…. Just leave it to history to decide.
I don’t want to see her apologising for votes….
An insincere apology to a victim is just another form of violence.