By Oh Young-jin (Korea Times)
The characters in this article share some similarities to the once-top SL politician though they (similarities) cannot be exactly replicated. An interesting comparative “drama”, anyway -TW
Three things are quite likely about how the ongoing scandal involving President Park Geun-hye will go. First, Park won’t step down on her own accord.
Second, the reason for that is she doesn’t feel any guilt about what she has done.
And third, it is all related to her upbringing. Part of the blame for how she is acting brazenly and without regret should fall on her parents and especially on her father, the army general-turned-dictator, Park Chung-hee, who ruled the nation with an iron fist for 20 years. The senior Park tried to stay in power for life but was shot to death by his top aide.
Park Chung-hee (left) and Park Geun-hye
Reinforcing her determination to cling to power is, of course, the nature of power that is the most potent aphrodisiac, certainly stronger than a garden variety of anti-aging rejuvenation drugs ― Viagra included ― that were said to be on Cheong Wa Dae’s medicinal grocery list.
Just in case Park is ousted by impeachment proceedings or steps down under other extraordinary circumstances, the chance is that she won’t feel sorry for what she has done. (Like Sri Lanka’s rajapakshe)
This means the hundreds of thousands participating in weekly candlelit vigils should prepare for a long-term struggle that may be stretched well past the incoming winter.
True, however orderly, the massive numbers of protesters advancing close to hundreds of meters from Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office, could be scary.
But just think about what Park has been through.
Her father contributed to the nation’s industrialization, enabling many cottage industry family-oriented businesses, turbocharged on state support, to transform into conglomerates, called “chaebol.” They include a who’s who of Korea Inc. including Samsung, LG, SK, Hyundai, Doosan and others.
That is called the period of development dictatorship in which the senior Park tried to compensate for his lack of legitimacy ― his past as a Japanese collaborator serving as a commissioned officer in the Japanese imperial army and his rise to power through a military coup ― by enriching the destitute country, devastated by the 1950-1953 Korean War and the 1910-1945 Japanese occupation.
The late Park still has a significant following especially among the old generations who still miss the can-do spirit and breakneck speed of change, who are ready to ignore costs: brutal repression of dissenters through torture and other human rights violations. They have until recently been the bulwark support base for the younger Park.
The incumbent President lived as the first daughter and then as stand-in for first lady Yuk Young-soo, her mother, who was killed by a bullet meant for her husband, fired by a Korean-Japanese on a mission from North Korea, during a celebration on Aug. 15, 1974, to mark the nation’s liberation from Japan.
Therefore, she feels by inheritance she owns part of the chaebol. Going back to the early stage of her term, it was not hard to find her chiding chaebol for not doing enough often from a matriarchic standpoint. It recalled her father.
In hindsight, it is not hard to guess why she had given up so easily on her key campaign pledge of economic democratization. This idea, suggested by her German-educated political economist Kim Chong-in, was alien to Park. She dumped this populist idea after she got elected.
By this standard, it is quite likely that Park rather was upset that, for the Mir and K-Sports foundations, chaebol were not as forthcoming with “donations” as she thought they should be.
Choi Soon-sil (pic), Park’s confidant of 40 years, is often portrayed as the main perpetrator in the scandal. She had apparently lined her pockets and gotten her daughter admitted into Ewha Womans University. But Choi, a daughter of an exorcist who had allegedly enchanted Park, must have been just one of her “faithful” assistants. In her apology, first acknowledging having allowed Choi to check her speeches in advance, she said, “I have lowered my guard” on Choi, confirming their master-servant relationship.
About Park being the type who can’t be easily scared, her father could explain it best.
He had seen a lot worse ― demonstrations across the country for his attempt to extend his presidential tenure to life in October 1972 under the Yushin (Restoration) Constitution, named ironically after Japan’s 1868 Meiji Restoration.
A cycle of violent protests and brutal suppressions had been repeated until the day, Oct. 26, 1979, when Park was assassinated by his chief intelligence officer who fell out of Park’s favor and shot him to death at the end of a power struggle with Park’s chief bodyguard.
Our current President is battle-hardened, so to speak, having seen bloody street combat and parents killed, a lot worse than the latest round of peaceful protests where mothers would take their kids out in strollers. Park can tough it out.
That is why Cheong Wa Dae still works tactically despite Park’s top lieutenants being relieved of their duty. Even if some accounts about her being intellectually challenged are to be believed, it couldn’t be a reason to underestimate her survival instinct.
Some people often challenge Park’s intelligence citing her dislike of reading books.
But she has a “good” teacher in her father in terms of crisis management.
That was well proven when Cheong Wa Dae defied prosecutors’ designation of Park as “conspirator” in a chaebol extortion charge together with Choi. Now, Park has dared the opposition to begin the impeachment process, knowing it is a very tricky procedure that can be made possible after clearing many hurdles starting from passage in the National Assembly and ending with confirmation by the Constitutional Court.
So don’t rule out that Park is around for some time to come.
Oh Young-jin is The Korea Times’ chief editorial writer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
President ‘a BITCH’ in new hip-hop song?
Scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye (left) and her longtime confidant Choi Soon-sil are the subjects of rapper San E’s satire in his new song “Bad Year.” Choi allegedly has been using the relationship to meddle in state affairs and prod Korean conglomerates into donating money to her non-profit foundations.
By Ko Dong-hwan (Korea Times)
Korean rapper San E has allegedly called scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye a ‘bitch’ and expressed enmity towards her in his new song that topped online charts Thursday.
San E released “Bad Year,” a rap number composed and written by the hip-hop artist, 31, at midnight Wednesday. Just six hours later, the number dominated Naver Music, Mnet and Olleh Music.
In “Bad Year” ― a homonym in Korean that can also mean “a bitch” ― San E portrays his romance with a cheating girlfriend that ends in a break-up.
Many phrases in the song allude to the scandal involving Park and her longtime confidant Choi Soon-sil. Choi is suspected of meddling in state affairs, being given unlawful access by Park to security-sensitive documents and speeches and allegedly squeezing money from Korean conglomerates to beef up the non-profit Mir and K-Sports foundations that she is suspected of using as her personal banks.
Phrases like “Your tongue harassed my ears every time” and “Change your repertoire with your words of promises that you always break” are said to infer that the President’s promises to citizens made in public speeches have turned out to be lies.
The analogy also reminds that the cheater who stole San E’s girlfriend is Choi. He accuses his lover of “kissing the man and explaining that to me with her dirty tongue” and attacks her as “a marionette controlled by him.” The singer depicts himself arriving at her house and asking her to “come down quickly, and if you took more time, I might catch panic disorder.” It is his message for the President to stop wasting time and step down from office.
Promotional image of San E’s “Bad Year”
The song’s brilliant phonetic wordplay in Korean also hints at words like “resignation” and “Choi Soon-sil.”
The song ends with “Not much time left,” a reference to public belief that the President has only days left in office and may possibly be indicted by prosecutors who designated her on Nov. 20 an “accomplice” to Choi, who was indicted the same day on charges of extortion and abuse of official power.
“It totally depends on listeners how they crack the meanings out of this song,” San E said via Brand New Music, his agency, Thursday. Media reports said the artist has been paying attention to the unprecedented presidential scandal ― also known as “Park Geun-hye Gate” ― that started to boil in October.
San E debuted in 2008, featuring with rapper Verbal Jint. He has been appearing as a judge in hip-hop competition shows like Mnet’s “Show Me the Money” and “Unpretty Rapstar,” and as host of JTBC’s “Tribe of Hip Hop.”
San E’s persuasive image recently earned him an opportunity to shoot Korea Broadcast Advertising’s public service ad that promoted using Hangul, or the Korean language, instead of jargon that frequently used abbreviated forms or mixed Korean, English and Japanese.
The following is the lyrics of “Bad Year.”
This year has been particularly hectic,
Especially with bad, unwanted events.
The worst among them
Was meeting that bitch.
I am outside your crib, calling you (Brrrr).
I wanted to end it nicely.
That’s right. I guess I am a little pissed off.
Can you come down (hurry).
If you took more time I might catch panic disorder.
People say to make eye contact.
Your eyes are red as red light district.
(So Freaking Red)
Your tongue always harassed my ears.
Can I swear this one time?
Go to hell.
I am an idiot.
But so are you.
I won’t walk you outside.
Here is my farewell to you. So long
Good bye Good bye
Bad year Bad year
Whoo…Hey…Did I trust you for this?
Change your repertoire with your words
of promises that you always break.
Besides, there was someone next to you,
You kissed him, and come back to me
to explain with your dirty tongue.
You were just his marionette.
So sick and tired
God, why did you give this bitch, this disaster to me?
Help me Holy Moly
Year of Red Monkey, be gone fast to usher in Year of Chicken
#Bitch #Bad Year
Want to take all burdens off of me to breathe free
This year has been particularly hectic,
Especially with bad, unwanted events.
The best among them
Was leaving her. Not much time left.