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The Lee Jeong-hee show

The first presidential TV debate is in the books, and boy, was it a doozy.

To start, a quick background — the debate was attended by NFP’s Park Geun-hye, DUP’s Moon Jae-in and UPP’s Lee Jeong-hee, the three leading candidates out of the field of seven. The format was to have a debate regarding five topics: presidential leadership, political reform, anti-corruption, North Korea policy and foreign policy. For each segment, the moderator asked a common question, which all three candidates answered. Then each candidate had a head-to-head Q&A session, before moving onto the next topic.

Clearly, the most entertaining portion of the debate was Lee Jeong-hee’s barrage against Park Geun-hye. (The full transcript is available here.) This might go down as the most entertaining presidential debate ever. Ms. Lee’s greatest hits:

- On presidential leadership:  Park Geun-hye has the “typical of the imperial leadership of the bygone era. If the First Lady of the Yushin dictatorship goes to the Blue House, she becomes the queen. We need a female president, but we can’t have a queen. Republic of Korea does not need a queen of arrogance and self-righteousness.”

- On political reform:  “To speak of the longtime ills of Korean politics — the history of Japanese collaboration, the dictatorial past, refusing to deal with people’s ordinary lives, changing words, all kinds of corruption, “cut-and-run,” Red Scare — who made all these embarrassing, antiquated politics? It’s the New Frontier Party. I question whether Ms. Park and the NFP have the right to discuss the political reform. The essence of political reform in Korea is for the NFP to dissolve, create a political environment in which rational debates may take place, and conduct the politics that wipe the tears off the regular people.”

- On corruption:  “Ms. Park spoke of stamping out political corruption. I can hardly believe it, since it comes from someone who maintained her status by receiving salaries derived from stolen goods. Former president Chun Doo-hwan paid Ms. Park KRW 600 million; at the time, you could purchase thirty apartment buildings with that kind of money, and it was the money that Park Chung-hee’s Yushin dictatorship received from chaebols. The Jeongsu Scholarship Foundation, of which Ms. Park was a chair of the board, is stolen goods that former president Park Chung-hee extorted from Kim Ji-tae.  . . .  NFP has so much corruption, but it cuts off its tail to protect Ms. Park’s poll numbers. Would Ms. Park promise the people to immediately resign from presidency if someone close to her received bribes?”

- On diplomacy:  “The foundation of diplomacy is to protect the nation’s sovereignty. Takagi Masao, whose Korean name was Park Chung-hee, became the Japanese army officer by writing a letter of loyalty in blood. After the independence, he came to power through a coup d’etat and rammed through the Korea-Japan Basic Treaty. He wielded the iron fist of the Yushin dictatorship. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Ms. Park and the NFP — the descendants of Japanese collaboration and dictatorship — sold out Korea’s economic sovereignty by ramming through the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. They do not deserve to sing the National Anthem.”

- On why she is running:  “Just remember this – I am running to make sure Ms. Park loses.”

It is fair to say that Park Geun-hye did not take these attacks very well, as she was visibly upset. (To her credit, however, Park made a surprise promise that she would return the money that she received from Chun Doo-hwan. Better 30 years late than never, I guess.) Moon Jae-in did not fare all that well from Lee Jeong-hee’s fireworks either, as he simply disappeared into the background.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Rob,

    I say we make CM a guest blogger to balance out TK.

    Thoughts?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    RJK already balances me out.

    BTW, over/under on how quickly Lee Jeong-hee ends up in prison if Park Geun-hye is elected should be 1 year, and I am taking the under.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    That firebrand with the uptight, repressed librarian look had me at 안녕하십니가

  • cm

    I’ve not watched this debate, is there anywhere that has this on video on demand?

    As for Lee Jong Hee’s attacks on Park.

    Sounds completely childish, attacking her and insulting her personally with accusations of being a queen. Silly woman who refuses to sing the Korean national anthem. Can you imagine Obama saying to his supporters, I will never sing the Star Spangled Banner because it was song written during America’s oppressive times? He would be chased out of the debating hall, and hounded as a traitor. But here is Lee Jeong Hee, getting national limelight with the press. Sickening, this woman.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    “Silly woman who refuses to sing the Korean national anthem. Can you imagine Obama saying to his supporters, I will never sing the Star Spangled Banner because it was song written during America’s oppressive times? He would be chased out of the debating hall, and hounded as a traitor.”

    Ahhh… my favorite, argument by analogy. I understand your point except that the Star Spangled Banner wasn’t written during America’s military dictatorship period.

    (…and I don’t talk trash about the love of your life.)

  • slim

    How does a second left-wing candidate do anything but HELP Park? Will many Korean women vote solely on gender?

  • slim

    I’m assuming cm’s analogy was slavery and Obama.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ kuiwon

    over/under on how quickly Lee Jeong-hee ends up in prison if Park Geun-hye is elected should be 1 year

    Why not? Isn’t there an Anti-Communist Law on the books? Instead of going after harmless people who simply retweeted from North Korea’s twitter account, the law should apply to people that actual are a danger.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I guess. :roll:

    (I know this sounds like American heresy, but I’m not a fan of the Star Spangle Banner for the usual reasons: highlights war, about an insignificant battle in an insignificant (lost?) war, too difficult to sing….)

    I also understand LJH’s point about PGH and those times. I just can’t imagine people supporting anything or anyone so intimately connected with a military dictatorship, one in so many citizen’s lifetime, and one that someone knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who suffered grievously under.

    PGH was an adult at the time and de facto first lady of the regime. I know that she’s been an MP for 15 years, but her whole career has been and her presidential bid is based on the connection to her father, a military dictator. Obviously with her poll numbers, it’s working for her but …Koreans!??

  • Anonymous_Joe

    @8 kuiwon, “why not?”

    Do you come from a country that protects or do you believe in free speech, particularly in the world of ideas?

    I’m no fan of Korea’s restrictive speech laws regarding the NorKs, but do you really advocate Korea extending them further?

  • joe boxer

    thekorean,
    What is your opinion of “Ms. Lee’s greatest hits”? The Koreans I spoke with tonight felt uncomfortable about what was said and how it was brought up. Some felt bad for Ms. Park, and one Korean relative even said, “now I will vote for Park Geun Hye”.

    I’d like to hear what you thought about it, and whether you think that Ms. Lee will really succeed in hurting Park Geun Hye’s chances.

    Also, I think we should all balance-out yet another anti-Park article by thekorean, by giving another listen to the Hip Hop Ode to Park Geun Hye!

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    What is your opinion of “Ms. Lee’s greatest hits”?

    People who thought they would vote for PGH after seeing the debate were planning to vote for PGH anyway.

    As for me, it was like watching Joe Biden firing away at Paul Ryan. Depends on where you stand, it was either super cathartic or highly offensive.

    As to whether it’s effective — I generally don’t think TV debates do much to affect the ultimate outcome. But who knows, it might galvanize the progressive base, which is badly in need of some enthusiasm right now.

  • iMe

    @9
    I agree. “Star Spangled Banner” is alright but I prefer “America the Beautiful.”

    Back to the topic at hand…
    TK’s rundown of the debate was an interesting read. Can’t say I disagree with some of Lee’s premises but the more I read about Moon, he sounds like a complete disaster, too.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    the more I read about Moon, he sounds like a complete disaster, too.

    How so?

  • dokdoforever

    “Just remember this – I am running to make sure Ms. Park loses.”
    Maybe Lee needs to figure out how the electoral system works. If she’s not careful, she’ll end up as a Korean Ralph Nader.

  • gbnhj

    Lee Jeong-hee: “박 후보가 이사장이던 정수장학회 박정희 전 대통령이 김지태 씨를 협박해 뜯어낸 장물 아닌가. 지금까지 친인척 비리가 없던 대통령 없다. 전두환 본인 형님 모두 감옥갔고 노태우 본인이 갔고 김대중 전 대통령 아들이 감옥갔고 노무현 전 대통령 시절조차 형님이 감옥갔다. 이명박 대통령 형님이 감옥가고 온 가족이 비리 연루됐다. 새누리당은 비리가 굉장히 많은데 박 후보 지지율 지키느라 꼬리 자르기 하잖나. 이제 측근 비리 드러나는 즉시 대통령직을 사퇴하겠다고 국민에게 약속할 의향이 있나. 그렇게까지 의지 피력해야 친인척 비리를 더 이상 안 저지른다고 생각한다.”

    Right. So, first you tell us that, irrespective of party, there have been many cases of scandal and corruption from politicians’ cabinet- and family members. But then you put the question of resigning over such to PGH alone? Something tells me we’ll all see that happening again, regardless of who wins.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Walking by the election signs I was surprised to see that four of the seven candidates are women. Would that be a first for Asia?

    At any rate, I also can’t see how Lee can help Moon’s chances. Perhaps she figures that if Moon wins she’ll have less relevance.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    At any rate, I also can’t see how Lee can help Moon’s chances.

    There is absolutely no chance in hell that Lee Jeong-hee gets more than 0.8% of the votes no matter what she says. So why not be the suicide bomber, pump some excitement into the progressive base and attack PGH while allowing MJI to appear to be above the fray? In that sense, Lee can help.

  • jeep44

    #11: Not that she can vote in Korea, but my wife (about the same age as PGH, and who thinks very highly of her) was just sputtering and yelling at the TV today, during this debate.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    TK, if that’s the case then why did she get to join the debate and not the other four?

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Can you imagine Obama saying to his supporters, I will never sing the Star Spangled Banner because it was song written during America’s oppressive times? He would be chased out of the debating hall, and hounded as a traitor.

    You are incorrect. Barack Obama did tell his supporters that he refused to place his hand over his heart — the customary civilian “salute” to the US flag — for the singing of the national anthem for much the same reasons, and in fact was photographed on a dais with his hands clasped over his testicles while Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson had their hands over their hearts as the anthem played. Our lying, servile press apologized all over the place for him and denounced those Americans who were perturbed at the lack of respect. Barack Obama went on to become the President of the United States.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    @20, Elections Law requires that any candidate from a party that has more than 5 seats in the Assembly must be included in the televised debate. The UPP has 6 seats.

  • jinu4ever

    A voter is stupid to vote for PGH because they feel sorry for her after last night’s debate. However, to an undecided voter (many of the ACH supporters yet moved), it would have shown the dangers that would come with relaxing security and anti-communist laws.

    MJI has work to do in future debates. He doesn’t need a pest like Lee taking all the attention.

    Lee has stated on record she is not serious about it. She shouldn’t be invited to further debates. She won’t be I am sure.

  • Ex-Ex-Pat

    I love the Korean brain. Kim Il-son is a great patriot because he never made peace with the Japanese. Doesn’t matter that he created the worst society ever imagined in human history. But Park Chung-hee, a dictator, but a humble one, set Korea on the path to prosperity it now enjoys. The Park Chung-Hee legacy is a liability, while the Kim Il-son badge is a mark of pride. Korea. You can’t make this stuff up. Vanity. Insecurity. Cowardice.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    She shouldn’t be invited to further debates.

    That would be against the law. Let’s make sure we know stuff before we open our mouth, shall we?

    The Park Chung-Hee legacy is a liability, while the Kim Il-son [sic] badge is a mark of pride.

    Daughter of PCH = 49% in the polls.
    Communist sympathizer = 0.7% in the polls.

    Again, let’s make sure we know stuff before we open our mouths.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    You are incorrect. Barack Obama did tell his supporters that he refused to place his hand over his heart — the customary civilian “salute” to the US flag — for the singing of the national anthem for much the same reasons, and in fact was photographed on a dais with his hands clasped over his testicles while Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson had their hands over their hearts as the anthem played.

    Got a link for this counsellor? The part where he tells his supporters that he refused to place his hand over his heart. PS, email forwards by tea party members quoting tea party members quoting some guy don’t count.

    Nor does satire.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    24, I think you have to bear in mind that in terms of freedoms things got worse, not better, as the PCH administration moved along, while the free world was becoming much more liberal. Just like people remember the entire Japanese Occupation by the first ten and last seven years of it, people remember PCH for the coup and the obstitancy of the last years of his reign. That said, there are still a lot of people who think of him as the greatest Korean ever.

    You’re right, though, that the hard left-wing Korean brain is a difficult thing to get around.

  • Q

    Ex-Ex-Pat,

    Your brain seems planarian simplistic.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    @21, 26 — as much as I relish seeing Mr. Carr being so blinded by his hatred of Obama that he is inadvertently making a case for Lee Jeong-hee, please please keep the U.S. elections out of this thread. I already went through that stuff and I would like to focus on this show, not reruns.

  • JW

    The Donga Ilbo link doesn’t have the bit from Lee Jeong Hee about Chun Doo Hwan giving Park 600 Million Won. And it’s supposed to be the “Entire Transcript”. What the hell?

  • R. Elgin

    . . . Moon Jae-in did not fare all that well from Lee Jeong-hee’s fireworks either, as he simply disappeared into the background.

    Where he belongs – Mr. Breath-mint.

    PGH deserved some of this vitriol only because her party is so useless, addicted to corruption and unable to reform itself, so if your immediate subordinates are so bad, you get what you get, however, having such a shrewish bitch harangue not just PGH, but their entire nation on TV, is going to cost no one but Lee Jeong-hee.

  • jinu4ever

    TK, the law may reward her a spot in the debate but clearly common sense tells us she’s not doing anyone any good. Not even herself.

    PGH obviously is out there to defend. She’s got the ratings, she doesn’t need to do anything drastic. We saw that last night. PGH didn’t bring anything new to the table, and was ok to beat around the bush.

    The more Lee attacks, the easier it is to defend. They are nothing new. The progressives can claim that they had a field day, but now what? Was it of any substance?

    Clearly it is MJI wanting the job. He needs to debate PGH and get the swing votes.

  • brier

    @18 (TK)
    Is there really nothing wrong with a suicide bomber, to pump some excitement into the race? I do have a problem with LGH acting as the hit woman on PGH, because she is a presidential candidate. LGH has a responsibility to argue why she should be president and what her policies are, not be turd in the dialogue. Korea deserves better, better than a 25 year old dialogue. Beyond the fission of first impact, ultimately she is doing a disservice to the progressive base, indeed a disservice to the country. Remember ‘it’s the future, stupid’. The past can be worked out by historians and bloggers.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    …as much as I relish seeing Mr. Carr being so blinded by his hatred of Obama that he is inadvertently making a case for Lee Jeong-hee, please please keep the U.S. elections out of this thread. I already went through that stuff and I would like to focus on this show, not reruns.

    At least allow him the opportunity to reply – I’d love a morning chuckle.

  • thedrew

    LOVE this new woman.

    It’s sickening to see daily political scandals on TV, but the people keep bringing in more and more dirtbags.

    I predicted 6 years ago that Lee MB will be the first Korean president that will spend time in prison. I stand by this statement.

    Furthermore, I have a few observations that scare me. In one of my jobs here I have the chance to work with some high ranking political figures. When asked “What do you think about gender equality in Korea?” I was told by one guy “Korea is the best place in the world for a woman”…. Koreans eat and breathe their own BS more than any other country. “Korean beer best in the world”, “Korean bread best in the world”, “Hawaii is the Jeju of America”, “Korean streets are clean”, “No Koreans litter or spit on the streets”, “There is no prostitution in Korea”. The list goes on and on of the AMAZING denial of Koreans about Korea.

    I had another guy tell me that he hates the fact that his company doesn’t bribe the media like Samsung does. He always has to put out fires while Samsung employees are dying of cancer in Suwon and no one says anything.

    It’s refreshing to see someone speak so bluntly in a country that badly needs this. It might take 10 or 15 years, but maybe Korea does get cleaned up a bit.

  • jinu4ever

    thedrew, Kim Dae Jung spent time in prison.. before his presidency.
    Chun doohwan, Roh-Tae-Woo served time… should have served death.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    35, Um, didn’t Chun and Noh (the 1st) spend time in prison?

    TK, btw if a candidate needs to come from a party with at least five seats, how would Ahn have made it to the debates had he run as an independent?

  • Hamilton

    There is no analogy that will translate well from US to Korean politics or history.

    I am surprised at the glee with which some posters are quoting the attacks on PGH. Her proposed policies should be first on their minds not who her father was.

    Love him or hate him, I don’t remember the big uproar over then Senator Obama saying he would not salute the flag. I remember the uproar being over this refusal to actually do it. The backstory is that sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t which is pretty weak sauce. It isn’t something you really forgot and if you do you just see you are the only guy not saluting.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU9iCANi02o

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Leading Saenuri party MP chastises LJH for speaking in such a way to someone older.

  • thedrew

    jinu4ever— Haha. I asked a few Koreans and they said “no president has served time in prison”…. I think I need to do full research because it appears that quite a few love self-serving lies (or they don’t know). This is not a broad generalization, but it is enough to be worrisome.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK, the law may reward her a spot in the debate but clearly common sense tells us she’s not doing anyone any good.

    Do you ever check your “common sense” with actual reactions from the people? LJH really did provide a service for the progressives — she breathed genuine excitement into the left side of the field, much like Biden’s debate bridged the enthusiasm gap between Obama and Romney.

    The more Lee attacks, the easier it is to defend. They are nothing new.

    Actually, in terms of visibility, they are very new. Yesterday was probably the first time that the words “Takagi Masao” were uttered on Korean television. A lot of Koreans had no idea that PGH received from Chun Doo-hwan enough money to buy a small town. Ask yourself — if LJH’s attacks were so trite, why was PGH so completely flustered by them?

    But you are right that MJI needs to make his presence felt soon. He will have two more debates to do that.

    LGH has a responsibility to argue why she should be president and what her policies are, not be turd in the dialogue.

    I don’t think LJH was being a turd in the dialogue. Every attack LJH made against PGH was factually true and completely legitimate, whether or not one agrees or disagrees with her characterizations.

    Nor were LJH’s attacks about what happened 25 years ago — they were about here and now. The central point of LJH’s attacks was this: can we trust a direct result of dictatorship and corruption to be the president of Korea? PGH could have refused to serve as the head of her father’s propaganda machine; she didn’t. PGH could have refused to take Chun Doo-hwan’s tainted money; she didn’t. PGH could have refused to manage her father’s slush funds; she didn’t. PGH could have recognized that her father’s rule was an insult to democracy before her poll numbers began to drop; she didn’t. All of the above informs who PGH is, here and now, when she is potentially two weeks away from being Korea’s president.

  • Hamilton

    TK,

    I do find it interesting that you find the quote below valid in regard to PGH.

    “The central point of LJH’s attacks was this: can we trust a direct result of dictatorship and corruption to be the president of Korea?”

    Yet you don’t ask or think the below is appropriate for MJI:

    “Can we trust a direct result of failed policies and corruption to be the president of Korea?”

    PGH may have benefited from the PCH dictatorship in several ways but MJI was a willing and active part of the Noh Muh Hyun corruptocracy.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK, btw if a candidate needs to come from a party with at least five seats, how would Ahn have made it to the debates had he run as an independent?

    Ok, here is the full rundown of the Elections Law regarding TV debates:

    - All candidates must have at least one chance to appear in a TV debate.

    - Certain candidates who meet the following criteria must have at least three chances to appear in a TV debate.
    –> Any candidate from a party that has 5 or more seats in the Assembly;
    –> Any candidate from a party that has garnered 3% or more of the popular vote in the election immediately preceding the presidential election; OR
    –> Any candidate who is polling higher than 5% on average for a month preceding the debate.

    If ACS ran, he would have easily satisfied the third criterion.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    thedrew:

    Rhee – imprisoned by Japanese
    Yun – I have no idea
    Park – no, but may have eventually been had he not been shot
    Chun and Noh – yes, and the former still should be in prison
    Kim Youngsam – Park wanted to imprison him but the US strongly objected
    KDJ – famously imprisoned
    Noh Moohyun – would have been
    LMB – not yet

    So, it would seem being imprisoned is actually quite typical of SK presidents.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Yet you don’t ask or think the below is appropriate for MJI:

    “Can we trust a direct result of failed policies and corruption to be the president of Korea?”

    Au contraire, my partisan friend — I do think it is completely legitimate to ask that question regarding MJI. I just think that RMH was incomparably better than PCH. RMH respected democracy, and he did not kill anyone.

    On the other hand, it is hilarious that you denounce RMH’s corrupt at every chance you get while remaining completely silent as to PCH’s astronomically greater scale of corruption. Shoot, PCH’s children still collectively have more than US $3.5 billion, completely made up of the spoils of their father’s rule. And you wave your arms about RMH’s (alleged but never proven) US $6 million bribe?

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    OK, guys, I’ll respect TheKorean’s request to refrain from denouncing Obama in this thread. Don’t worry, I’ll still despise Obama later.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Nice duck and weave ;)

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Updated list:

    Rhee – imprisoned by Japanese
    Yun – imprisoned by Park Chung-hee
    Park – imprisoned after the Korean War for being a communist (!)
    Chun — imprisoned for his coup d’etat
    Roh Tae-woo — same as Chun
    Kim Youngsam – under house arrest by Park Chung-hee
    KDJ – famously imprisoned
    Roh Moo-hyun – imprisoned multiple times as a democratization activist
    LMB – imprisoned as a democratization activist during PCH regime

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Thanks for that, TK. I believe that Moon Jaein was also imprisoned, making it a run of ten in a row if elected.

  • jinu4ever

    TK, The reaction from people are, the progressive voters are in joy, the conservative voters more united behind PGH. But these are the decided votes anyway. What about the swing votes?

    For me, the careful and educated swing voters aren’t swayed by outbursts of irrationality.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #50 jinu4ever: For me, the careful and educated swing voters aren’t swayed by outbursts of irrationality.

    Connect the dots for me. Are you sayin’ that LJH’s statements were irrational?

    …and by “irrational” do you mean dangerously factual?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK, The reaction from people are, the progressive voters are in joy, the conservative voters more united behind PGH. But these are the decided votes anyway. What about the swing votes?

    Mitt Romney also won the Independents, but was completely crushed in the election.

    What will allow MJI to win is not the swing voters — it is the progressive-leaning voters who wouldn’t otherwise vote (i.e. former ACS supporters.) The more enthusiasm the leftists can generate, the better.

    But like you pointed out earlier, MJI will have to channel that energy toward him going forward.

  • Hamilton

    TK,

    I bash NMH since he was a crook through and through. I also disagree that he never had anyone killed, he encouraged the Norks every chance he got and was rewarded with more that a few dead military members. You’re right though, the money that his press secretary took, his wife took, the US apartments his children took, the library which was built with ghost money and the home he couldn’t afford were never directly tied to him since he conviently killed himself. How about those 20,000 dollar watches, yep he took them but threw them away where no one could find them. yea right.

    I also don’t think he was very impressed with Democracy, he tried to silence his opponents at every opportunity, was pretty handy in passing bucket loads of money to Norks without public consent and tried to undermine numerous laws again against public consent.

    PCH was a dictator and I don’t agree with dictatorships I just find it facinating that you can only attribute the bad and none of the good.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I bash NMH since he was a crook through and through.

    Then why do you NEVER say anything about indisputably greater crooks such as PCH, CDH, RTW, etc.?

    I also disagree that he never had anyone killed, he encouraged the Norks every chance he got and was rewarded with more that a few dead military members.

    Name one instance in which a Korean solider was killed by North Korea during the RMH administration. Just one.

    I also don’t think he was very impressed with Democracy, he tried to silence his opponents at every opportunity

    Did RMH ever kill his opponents? Because PCH did a lot of that.

    I just find it facinating that you can only attribute the bad and none of the good.

    When someone kills a lot of people, I am not particularly inclined to look at the good of that person. I generally like seeing both sides of the story, but mass murder is a deal-breaker for me. Call me crazy.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “When someone kills a lot of people, I am not particularly inclined to look at the good of that person. I generally like seeing both sides of the story, but mass murder is a deal-breaker for me. Call me crazy.”

    I’d really like to see the stats. From what I’ve read I’m pretty sure Rhee killed a lot more, and yet he doesn’t have the same villian status amongst the left, despite being a complete economic failure. Is that the passage of time, or resentment over the fact that right made Korea what it is today?

  • Marty Pants

    “There is absolutely no chance in hell that Lee Jeong-hee gets more than 0.8% of the votes no matter what she says. So why not be the suicide bomber, pump some excitement into the progressive base and attack PGH while allowing MJI to appear to be above the fray? In that sense, Lee can help.”

    TK, that’s how typical dirt bags reason and think. If I guess correctly, South Koreans want to see what Moon and Park explain their proposed policies and how they’re going to lead the country. Nobody’s particularly interested in listening to the nutcase who has zero chance of winning the election, insulting the next president of South Korea. Instead, what happened? The nutcase hijacks the debate, effectively shutting down Moon Jae In, who lost the chance to explain his party. This is what I call an own goal.

  • Hamilton

    TK:
    “PCH was a dictator and I don’t agree with dictatorships ” I’m pretty sure I said that today and I have said worse numerous times.

    I guess you can’t read. I also don’t care for CDH and RTW, I wasn’t aware I was required to pan them as well, I don’t remember them being germane to any argument I have had with you. I was glad that LYS put them in jail and under a death sentence.

    I also never said RMH killed his opponents, nice stawman. He did his best to bully and close discussion. Not very democratic despite what you believe.

    You are correct on one aspect, NMH was not President during a lethal NK provocation, my memory was a little off. 2002 was KDJ and 2009, 2010 incidents were under LMB.

    He did do a spectacular job making sure the NK military was flush with money and filling his pockets. Since MJI is his heir apparent I think his conduct is very important.

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  • http://hojupjimong.wordpress.com/ JiMong

    Lee – Nothing to lose
    Park – Nothing to read
    Moon – Not recognized
    ——
    As netizens say…

  • jinu4ever

    Anonymous_Joe,
    For someone who can’t stop calling out all the faults with a dictatorship, she surely fights to her death for the rights of a government in its 3rd generation of dictatorship.

    This is far beyond hypocrisy it’s not funny.

    If that is not irrationality I do not know what is.

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    As for swing voters, it is anecdotal but my sister in law, after watching the debate, didn’t focus on LJH. Instead she noted that while PGH was smooth during her prepared statements, she had her a$$ handed to her during the real debates. She couldn’t debate her policies nor explain herself clearly.
    Just one person’s opinion, but an interesting point of view.

  • bookworm861

    As I watched parts of the Presidential Debate, I couldn’t believe LGH vicious attacks and the lack of respect for PGH. I know it’s a debate but the level of sarcasm was difficult to listen to. LGH motive for entering the Presidential race is unethnical and purely looking to bring PGH down.

  • Hamilton

    “If that is not irrationality I do not know what is.”

    That is the same problem I have with MJI and the many clones like him. KDJ in my opinion and I have stated this many times was the real deal and I have a lot of respect for what he tried to accomplish. it’s just that it was an abysmal failure and he could not re-adjust to the reality that an appeasement policy did not work with the NK. I do take him to task for never addressing NK’s appalling human rights record or the lethal provocations the north launched during his Presidency.

    After 5 more wasted years under NMH, it seems most progressive recipes for success are more cowbell. Executing the same plan for over 10 years and assuming results will differ when little of the playing field has changed is dangerously stupid.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #59 jinu4ever: For someone who can’t stop calling out all the faults with a dictatorship, she surely fights to her death for the rights of a government in its 3rd generation of dictatorship.

    …If that is not irrationality I do not know what is.

    OK, now I understand your point Still, whether the pot called the kettle black does not lighten the blackitude (blackitocity? ok, blackness) of the kettle.

    (Before last night, I had never seen or heard of Lee Jeong Hee. I don’t know of her past or politics, so my reaction is more primal, and I’m in the hormonal daze induced by that shagadelic minx. >>rrrooooww<<)

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #60 bballi bballi Paradise: As for swing voters, it is anecdotal but my sister in law, after watching the debate, didn’t focus on LJH. Instead she noted that while PGH was smooth during her prepared statements, she had her a$$ handed to her during the real debates. She couldn’t debate her policies nor explain herself clearly.
    Just one person’s opinion, but an interesting point of view.

    My wipeu said not only the same but also the same all along and leading up to the debate. The general perception is that PGH does not acquit herself well when she doesn’t have a script.

  • Sleepy

    Thank you, thekorean, for post and comments! My first time on this blog, hope the rest is similar.

    I just have one question, that someone already asked, is there anywhere one could watch this debate online? AND, subtitled to English …? I’d be very happy with a translated transcript too, if there’s one. Thank you!

  • silver surfer

    Brilliant!

    It’s good to see someone telling the ugly truth out in public. And it’s extraordinary to me how unperturbed all the conservatives on this thread are by corruption and dictatorship – as long as it’s by right wingers, that is.

  • guitard

    Has regionalism become a non-factor in Korean politics? It used to be the deciding factor in presidential elections in Korea.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I just have one question, that someone already asked, is there anywhere one could watch this debate online? AND, subtitled to English …? I’d be very happy with a translated transcript too, if there’s one. Thank you!

    What toppings do you want on your pizza, while we’re at it?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I see you’ve been welcomed aboard, @65 Sleepy.

    Yeah, you can expect similar.

  • Hamilton

    SS,

    Very appropriate comment, I think the feelings are mutual.

    Personally I have never condoned PCH’s period but I can give credit where credit is due. The economy did skyrocket under his admin and his infrastructure/industry investments are still paying off today. He was a dictator, imprisoned innocents and had people killed. This is all bad, no doubt about it.

    At the same time I cannot find any redeeming value in Noh Muh Hyun, Yet he is Saint Noh among the progressive crowd at TMH and in Korea. Even today TK said prove he stole anything or it’s less so it doesn’t matter! Uh..really…?

    KDJ, certainly paid his dues and meant well, already written here by myself and prior many times. Other than his inability to see that he made a huge mistake, and funded north Korean provocations I think he was genuinely a decent guy.

    I was actually accused today of condoning CDW and RTW’s presidencies, something I have NEVER done just because I never directly even though it never came up called them d*cks. Okay, whatever it takes to make you feel good about yourself…..

    The mirror image of this is Kim Young Sam who convicted both those dirt bags, dug up their slush fund but isn’t popular since he wasn’t a progressive. He is the forgotten president, democratically elected, corruption fighter who didn’t feel the need to fund Nork violence on the South. I don’t need to demand anyone say anything nice about him to score a BS point.

    Now I see MJI and I see him as NMH lite. Korea will survive him as President, but not as well as it could. Forget about the economy, forget about the Norks ever considering they might need to negotiate, he will do his best to ensure they are #1 on his agenda when the ROK should be.

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  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    From what I’ve read I’m pretty sure Rhee killed a lot more, and yet he doesn’t have the same villian status amongst the left, despite being a complete economic failure. Is that the passage of time, or resentment over the fact that right made Korea what it is today?

    Actually, among the villain scale for the Korea’s left, Chun Doo-hwan ranks at the undisputed top (as evidenced by the recent movie,) and PCH and RSM rank about the same. It’s just that Park Geun-hye is running for the president.

    ========================================

    If I guess correctly, South Koreans want to see what Moon and Park explain their proposed policies and how they’re going to lead the country. Nobody’s particularly interested in listening to the nutcase who has zero chance of winning the election, insulting the next president of South Korea.

    Koreans also want to see the character of the people who are applying to be the president. LJH may be many things, but she is not a nutcase. Nor is what LJH said an insult. All of LJH’s attacks were based on facts, and all of them were legitimate.

    ========================================

    I wasn’t aware I was required to pan them as well

    This is just hilariously hypocritical, considering that this conversation began with your accusation that I was required to criticize MJI in order to discuss LJH’s attacks on PGH.

    I cannot find any redeeming value in Noh Muh Hyun

    Considering that you have trouble with facts, it is not a surprise that you can’t find redeeming values in RMH. I’ll give you a hint here — compare the changes in Korea’s per capita GDP under the four democratically elected presidents, i.e. KYS, KDJ, RMH, LMB.

    The mirror image of this is Kim Young Sam who convicted both those dirt bags, dug up their slush fund but isn’t popular since he wasn’t a progressive.

    KYS is not popular because he drove Korea into the worst economic crisis in its modern history. But keep making up facts to fit your narrative.

    ========================================

    Has regionalism become a non-factor in Korean politics? It used to be the deciding factor in presidential elections in Korea.

    It’s not a non-factor, but significantly less of a factor for sure.

    ========================================

    I just have one question, that someone already asked, is there anywhere one could watch this debate online? AND, subtitled to English …? I’d be very happy with a translated transcript too, if there’s one.

    Glad you enjoyed the post, but I’m afraid Korean language skills are required if you want to closely follow Korean politics.

  • cm

    You can moan all you like TK, come this December, South Korea will have its first woman president who is conservative. I would wholeheartedly support Park Geun Hye if she throws that Commie in the slammers for taking orders from North Korea and shut her traps once and for all. But that would be undemocratic, so I doubt Park will do it. Unfortunately, she’s a softie inside, unlike her dad. I hope she toughens up and at least be half the heart Margaret Thatcher showed.

  • Sleepy

    Brendon Carr,

    Excuse me? Do I know you? Have I done anything to offend you? I asked a simple question, if anyone had a link to the information I was interested in. No need to act like an asshole (but I have read some of your comments, so I guess that’s just who you are).

    Anonymous_Joe,

    Yeah… tough crowd. I don’t have any particular problems to use invectives as it is, so I think I should stay away from the comments/puking area of this blog.

    thekorean,

    Okay, thanks. Guess I’ll have my work cut out for me if I one day would decide to move to Korea and learn Korean. Kepp up the good work.

  • silver surfer

    Thatcher was the one who preached the message”There is no such thing as society”. Perhaps the people who did nothing to help a man pushed onto the subway tracks believe that too.

    Or perhaps he was nuts and they were scared to approach.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I would wholeheartedly support Park Geun Hye if she throws that Commie in the slammers for taking orders from North Korea and shut her traps once and for all. But that would be undemocratic, so I doubt Park will do it.

    Two comedy points here:

    1. You “wholeheartedly support” undemocratic measures.
    2. You think Park would not pursue undemocratic measures.

  • cm

    “My wipeu said not only the same but also the same all along and leading up to the debate. The general perception is that PGH does not acquit herself well when she doesn’t have a script.”

    Anonymous_Joe, I’m not trying to insult your wife, but I’ll say it anyway. It sounds like she already supported the Progressives, way before this debate. Either that, she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about. True, PGH is not the most eleoquent public speaker, but that has no bearing on her party and her leadership. On the surface, your wife probably thought Lee Jeong Hee was the most presidential like. But only because she’s well versed in her North Korean ideology and dogma that she clings to fiercely. She has no flexibility in examining her own questionable North Korean ideology that she clings to. I’ve not seen the debate myself, but according to reports I’ve read and based on watching past speeches that she made in the media, all I can conclude is this is the same type of person who is the most dangerous when in power – a person who cannot bend to one’s own ideology. If your wife can’t see through that, then good luck. I understand that she even referred to South Korea, as “southern side of Korea” – which is how North Korea refers to South Korea, at one point.

    The whole debate should have been about two parties debating the most pressing issues like the economy, social welfare programs, growing gap between rich and poor, naval base build in Jeju, and FTA with United States which Moon Jae In is in favor of nullyfying at the expense of greatly angering the United States. But instead this fucking bitch comes on TV, spewing her ideology and turns the whole debate on its toes, and turns it into a question about PGH’s past, and damn the other more important issues.

  • cm

    #75

    TK, the real comedy is your remarks giving any kind of credibility to the troll Lee Jeong Hee.

    http://www.dailian.co.kr/news/news_view.htm?id=317384

    The Progressives have just shot themselves in the foot again.
    Read the Korean netizen reactions on her slip up comment. She didn’t help Moon at all. In fact I dare say she probably torpedoed what’s left of Moon’s rapidly shrinking chances. Figures, since South Korea doesn’t need a bumbling incompetent party in power who has no ideal on what they’re doing.

  • slim

    Some of the analysis coming out is calling LJH the winner and saying MJI was damaged by her performance because he avoided piling on PGH.

    –Assuming this is correct, was this a fatal blow?
    –Is the degree to which LJH is transparently a lackey of Pyongyang, in style and substance, lost on the wider voting population?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK, the real comedy is your remarks giving any kind of credibility to the troll Lee Jeong Hee.

    If you can challenge any of the factual bases with which LJH attacked PGH, please, be my guest. But I bet you can’t. You are such a typical Korean conservative — take away the undemocratic muzzling of speech and Red Scare, you have nothing.

    ===================================

    Assuming this is correct, was this a fatal blow?

    No, but how MJI handles himself next time will be very important.

    Is the degree to which LJH is transparently a lackey of Pyongyang, in style and substance, lost on the wider voting population?

    A lot of people have never even heard of LJH.

  • JW

    Wait wait wait, so is there any real evidence which shows that LJH’s allegiance lies with North Korea? That would be too bad cuz the force of her intelligence and speaking ability is formidable, not to mention that soothing tone of voice. Big fan of that voice.

  • slim

    If this is the “force of her intelligence” (yes, she aced the SNU entrance exams), cm’s policy prescription for her may be correct:
    ( I jest on cm, but detention and arbitrary incarceration of LJH in NORTH Korea would be perfect.)

    Asked if that meant she was open to allowing North Korea to influence South Korea to accept being led by a dictatorship from Pyongyang, Ms. Lee responded:

    “I wouldn’t exactly put it that way. I don’t think the South Koreans would be unilaterally influenced by the North Korean system. I believe that when there is freer exchange between the two peoples of the Koreas, there will be new stimulation on both sides. I’m aware that North Korea is at the moment doing its best to try to stimulate its economy. It still has abundant natural resources. As for South Korea, the peasants and farmers in South Korea have the will to try to increase food sovereignty and self-sufficiency and try to produce more food. I believe that, in terms of the economy, the two Koreas have the potential to complement one another. As for the political system, we have a lot to learn from one another and we should be free to criticize one another. I think of it as mutual interaction. I don’t want to look at it as good versus evil. I believe that if the two systems can co-exist, that will create the process for moving together towards universal values. In order to move towards these universal values in a concerted manner, we first need to end war once and for all and eliminate tension on the Korean peninsula. That will set the setting to have a discussion the exact method for reunification.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2012/11/16/the-view-from-south-koreas-far-left/

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #73 Sleepy: Brendon Carr,

    Excuse me? Do I know you? Have I done anything to offend you? I asked a simple question, if anyone had a link to the information I was interested in. No need to act like an asshole (but I have read some of your comments, so I guess that’s just who you are).

    Anonymous_Joe,

    Yeah… tough crowd. I don’t have any particular problems to use invectives as it is, so I think I should stay away from the comments/puking area of this blog.

    Sleepy, you went further on to write that you were considering coming to Korea. BC’s shot wasn’t so much at you as a welcome to life in Korea salvo. Life here is frustrating, and the baggage accumulates. BC has been here so long, he’s hunchback. Me? I’ve got back problems.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #76 cm: Anonymous_Joe, I’m not trying to insult your wife,….

    None taken. You probably said the kindest thing I’ve ever thought about her.

    Yes, she did support the UDP coming in, and (like Yuna, see other thread) cried when ACS withdrew. In fairness to her, she sat quietly and contemplatively during the debate, did not take any glee, and did not say anything. I picked up on what was going on, and even in discussion afterward she was measured in tone.

    I’ll cut to the quick why PGH scares me. She is the symbolic embodiment, whether or not she is inclined to such, of a brutal military dictatorship. Her election will represent to many around her tacit approval toward those tactics. I will not be surprised if Korea backslides even further. My opposition to PGH is not her politics but the symbol she represents.

  • DLBarch

    Sleepy @ 73,

    There is a whole, fascinating literature on the psych profile of long-term, forever expats that you may be interested in.

    Dip into it even briefly, and it helps explain a lot of the pathologies one encounters on MH, and makes reading through this blog’s comments section fantastically more entertaining. A lot of the more spectacular remarks on MH are textbook.

    Oh, and welcome to MH — “the vitriol that never ends.” I hope you stick around. MH needs all the new blood it can get.

    Cheers,
    DLB

  • iMe

    TK @ 14,
    Admittedly, I don’t know much about either candidate and I’m definitely new to Korean politics with this being the first presidential election that I followed albeit rather casually. But anytime a politician offers more welfare, it’s raises a red flag for me. And when he talks about “just,” “equality” and so on, they sound like a bunch of code words for redistribution of wealth via government policies.

    Welfare is noble in concept. But it’s also grossly irresponsible as it shifts the burden to the productive sector of the population which will erode their productivity in the long run. And that hurts everybody.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    But anytime a politician offers more welfare, it’s raises a red flag for me. And when he talks about “just,” “equality” and so on, they sound like a bunch of code words for redistribution of wealth via government policies.

    Ok. What do you think about the fact that PGH’s campaign promise regarding welfare is virtually identical to MJI’s?

  • iMe

    @86,
    I cringed. And I don’t think I’ve ever said that I support PGH in this race. At least not yet. Because I’m just not that knowledgeable. Not that it matters whom I support. But if there’s a candidate out there who’s preaching more individual liberty, more economic/financial freedom, lower entry barrier, lower taxes, less regulation, less bureaucrats, less government, less spending, I can definitely be had.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    And I don’t think I’ve ever said that I support PGH in this race.

    I know, I was just curious.

  • JW

    But it’s also grossly irresponsible as it shifts the burden to the productive sector of the population which will erode their productivity in the long run.

    But but… this is nothing more than a “concept” still. Peter Diamond a nobel laureate and the widely respected Emmanuel Saez has a widely cited paper out saying that that optimal top marginal rate should be SEVENTY THREE percent.

    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=12054

  • jinu4ever

    What is all this LJH defending here? The updated polls clearly shows LJH hurt MJI’s chances and boosted PGH. What is left of the support for this crazy nutjob has to be extinguished. Regardless of the differences in all other political promises, the stance on North Korea has to be united progressive or conservative and on non-negotiable terms. Anything less, it is easy to dub you a Commo.

    We don’t talk to North Korea unless they meet the minimum criteria.
    They accept the NLL border
    They apologize for Yeonpyeong shelling
    They accept responsibility for Cheonan sinking and apologize
    They cease their nuclear program
    They cease their missile tests over foreign waters
    They start feeding their people

    It is NOT PCH’s government who stimulate North Koreans to terrorise our shores, it is NOT LMB’s government who brought Cheonan and Yeonpyeong incident. History tells us North Korea has found various ways of instigating conflict and tension in our peninsula no matter if the president was KDJ, RMH, LMB. Let’s not fool ourselves that they won’t do the same with MJI if he was elected.

    When they meet those minimum requirements, then we will talk about aid, reunification, summits and tourism. More than willing to. But the likes of LJH stills say we have to talk, we hand back the NLL. Fuck off.

    North Korea ultimately has to change first. Not our government. Not on this issue. We have progressives and conservatives, working to promote democracy. They have not done anything for 60 years. South Koreans are free, we’ve mad amazing progress. God bless the innocent Koreans in the north but if Kim Jung Eun doesn’t do anything to feed them, blood is on their hands not our government.

    The point here is that left and right has to stand united. It is up to the progressives to adopt the conservative view until such time North makes real progress. Our security law must stand firm as it stands now. We are a country at war with a warmongering government. It is only correct that we have a tough anti-communism law even at the expense of suppressing free speech.

    Every male has to waste 2 years in military because of this nutjob NK government. Why is she defending the rights of 60 year dictatorship government on the missile issue?

    LJH may have said the facts during the debate, but she omitted a lot. We all know Cheonan sinking was investigated and endorsed by non ally countries. Why did she not say this? She doesn’t know who to believe? Are you serious?

    Fuck LJH. PGH has this in the bag now no doubt, but I am also eager to see how many votes LJH gets if she ends up running. Keep her coming to the debates to hijack the show and send MJI into obscurity.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “Actually, among the villain scale for the Korea’s left, Chun Doo-hwan ranks at the undisputed top (as evidenced by the recent movie,) and PCH and RSM rank about the same. It’s just that Park Geun-hye is running for the president.”

    When you factor in all the civil war and pre-civil war atrocities I would bet that Rhee killed a lot more. Of course a lot of atrocities are bound to happen during a civil war; however, I read that Rhee even had one of his main opponents killed under the NSL in 1959. The student massacres of 1960 also rival those of 1980.

    I can’t help but think that a lot of the hatred towards PCH is due to his amazing successes. He seems a bit like the schoolmaster who achieved amazing results but was very quick to resort to the stick and humiliation and also favoured some students over others – some students come back to thank him and send him notes on Teachers’ Day, while others are eternally resentful. …And he was indeed once a schoolmaster.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Regardless of the differences in all other political promises, the stance on North Korea has to be united progressive or conservative and on non-negotiable terms. Anything less, it is easy to dub you a Commo.

    The same excuse was used to kill a lot of South Koreans, but I get the feeling that you don’t care all that much about democracy and human rights anyway. If you did, you would know that this is about PGH, not LJH. The central question is not what LJH will do as the president — that’s obviously irrelevant. LJH made clear that she was not interested in becoming the president, and she will never come close to being one. It is what PGH, the frontrunner, will do as the president, and LJH was the first one to make a clear attack on everything that is wrong with PGH.

    Do you deny that PGH does not care all that much about democracy, freedom and civil rights? Then make that point, because that would be relevant and actually responsive to LJH’s attacks. Everything else is the tired conservative bullshit Red Scare that only works on the feeble-minded.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    It is just me or does Lee Jeong-hee look like a man hating lesbian?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    And I will only say this about North Korea: take a look at Park Geun-hye’s North Korea policies. Contrary to many people’s fervent wishes, Korea’s conservatives moved toward the progressives when it comes to NK policies, not the other way around.

    From PGH’s recent article in Foreign Affairs:

    “Trust can be built on incremental gains, such as joint projects for enhanced economic cooperation, humanitarian assistance from the South to the North, and new trade and investment opportunities. When I met the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in 2002, we discussed a range of issues, including a Eurasian railway project that would reconnect the Trans-Korean Railway, which has been severed since the Korean War, and link it to the Trans-Siberian and Trans-China lines. Reconnecting the Korean railway would be a testament to mutual development and inter-Korean peace.”

  • R. Elgin

    Wangkon, I think you are correct because I invariably find myself attracted to so many lesbians and I think she looks undercover sexy, ergo she must be a lesbian. Besides, I can totally understand hating so many Korean men her age.

    Seriously, per that quote of hers

    . . . As for the political system(s), we have a lot to learn from one another and we should be free to criticize one another. I think of it as mutual interaction. . . I believe that if the two systems can co-exist, that will create the process for moving together towards universal values.

    I have serious doubts as to the validity of this thought. She would find reality a very different experience from her idea of “universal values”. Her idealism is probably more dangerous to the society here than anything else simply because what she expresses is not pragmatic or truthful, in regards to the conditions between the north and south and the North’s mendacious tendencies.
    I don’t think she is very honest either, considering her past record in Gwanak-gu and, considering her affect upon the election, she is not very wise either.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    R.Elgin,

    Yes, Korean men her age are often not likeable. But Korean men her age (and older) did find a way to put food on the table for people like me during some pretty tough times and pulled and pushed Korea, kicking and screaming, into the 20th and 21st centuries. That deserves some respect I think.

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