If you ever wondered what would be Korea’s equivalent of Mitt Romney addressing the NAACP, you have the answer now. On August 21, Park Geun-hye, the now-official presidential candidate for the New Frontier Party, visited Bong-ha village to pay her respects to the grave of former president Roh Moo-hyun. Park also visited Gweon Yang-sook, widow of former president Roh.
As expected, the visit did not go quietly, as many supporters of Roh still harbor the sense that the current NFP administration drove Roh to suicide in the course of investigating a trumped-up bribery charge. Several supporters of Roh were seen picketing Park’s visit. They were greeted with jeers by hundreds of Park supporters who appeared at the site.
Leading progressive candidates cautiously welcomed Park’s visit. Moon Jae-in said it was a good thing that Park visited, but wished that it was more than a formalistic visit. Kim Du-gwan similarly said Park did well to visit, but hoped that it was more than a political performance.