During a late November speech, the most famous Buddhist monk in Korea grabbed media attention when he implied that President Park closely resembled Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for refusing to apologize for obvious historic wrongdoing. The Venerable Pomyun said that Park’s refusal to apologize for the National Intelligence Service interfering in the election because she did not order it is like Prime Minister Abe refusing to apologize for the invasion of Korea because he didn’t personally participate.
Pomyun, famous for his eternal wide grin, first threw his weight into politics when he appeared with Ahn Cheol-soo in a series of wildly popular speeches across the country in 2011. The monk maintains close ties with Ahn and consulted with Moon Jae-in in August 2012 during his presidential campaign. South Korea’s Buddhists have traditionally stayed out of politics except in rare circumstances, and notably Pomyun does not belong to the majority Jogye Order.
Article from The Kyunghyang Shinmun:
Buddhist Monk: “President Park Must Not Act like Abe”
On November 25th, the Venerable Pomyun criticized President Park while bringing up the behavior of Japan’s Prime Minister Abe at Chonnam National University’s convention hall, site of the “New Century Gwangju Book Concert”, an event sponsored by the Foundation for Peace, Oh My Book, and other organizations.
Starting from when the emcee asked his opinion about misconduct in the national presidential election, he responded emphatically with “she must apologize.”
The buddhist monk began saying “You can’t say something like this.” He said Pres. Park can’t say “I never ordered it and never participated in it, so there’s no need to apologize for anything.” He objected to President Park refusing to offer an apology.
The Venerable Pomnyun said, “Prime Minister Abe, what to do about him. Abe has said, ‘I never ordered an invasion of Korea, so why should I apologize for it?’ Well, since he’s the head of the government that inherited Japan’s former government he certainly needs to offer an apology.” The comments were an indirect way of calling for an apology from President Park for the election misconduct.
The Venerable Pomnyun pointed out, “Do our constitution and national legislation allow the military units under the Ministry of Defense or any government organizations to interfere with elections? No.” He added, “If our laws are infringed upon, there must be punishment and there need to be promises to prevent such acts from recurring again in the future.”
Professor “K” from the Liberal Arts College at Chonnam National University who attended today’s talks said, “If we follow President Park’s logic, then the apology from Prime Minister Abe regarding Japanese colonialism and brutality would be unfair.” He went on to say, “The Venerable Pomnyun’s remarkable analogy really struck a chord with the approximately 400 students in attendance.”
Comments from Daum:
I sympathize with and fully support the Venerable Pomnyun’s words.
Naturally, nutty conservatives just wanna do what they want~ They have no logic whatsoever. Using sophistry and black-and-white reasoning to cover up any point under discussion is the trademark of nutjob conservatives!
The Saenuri Party will foam at the mouth saying the Venerable Pomnyun is also a sympathizer to the North.
The Venerable Pomnyun is awesome^^ Let the Buddhist monks participate in issuing statements about the current affairs.
Park Geun-hye has something in common with Syngman Rhee… Syngman Rhee’s rigged election was on March 15th… He slandered his opponent as part of the “Communist Party” before finally getting out of here. Park Geun-hye’s rigged election via general government intervention was on December 19th… She called her opponents Commies and sympathizers to the North. History repeats itself….
You can’t also be like your dad. [Referring to Park Chung-hee. ‘Aebi’ meaning dad in Korean sounds similar to ‘Abe’.]
His words are simple but strongly sympathizable!
How great it would be if there were more like the Venerable Pomnyun we could find in the world of Buddhism.
Park Geun-hye is a moron, Abe is a moron, and Kim Jong-un is a moron. East Asia’s 3 clowns, get out!
The only right answer is President Park Geun-hye’s resignation.
Miss Park is just plugging her ear and trying to ignore the rigged election.