It’s only slightly creepy when your defense minister-designate walks around with a cell phone charm with photos of a dead dictator and first lady

Let nobody ever question the loyalty of defense minister-designate Kim Byung-kwan to late President Park Chung-hee and his assassinated First Lady, Yuk Young-soo.

I won’t talk about the land purchase allegations, other to say that Yongmun, Yecheon is home to a charming Buddhist temple with a rare revolving sutra case from the 17th century. Yes, I’ve actually been there. Bite me.

  • Jakgani

    Is Kim Byung-kwan in love with President Park?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Gotta love the statists.

  • Baek, In-je

    Wow…you really don’t understand Korea.

  • Cloudfive

    Creepy….USSR DPRK creepy.

  • Angusmack

    If you think that’s creepy then you haven’t paid much attention to the personality cult developing around Ronald Reagan in certain factions of the GOP.

  • Mr. Yu

    Just be glad it was not Hello Kitty, that would be creepy!

  • yangachibastardo

    Way less than an A1B4 pic

  • Anonymous_Joe

    You mean to say that this Ronald Reagan was a ruthless dictator who took power in a military coup and quashed all dissent, and the current president’s, Reagan’s progeny’s, cabinet level nominees carry fobs on their phones of this ruthless dictator Ronald Reagan? Yes, the parallels are striking and your analogy conveys such an amazing grasp of the obvious that all others passed at plucking such low hanging fruit.

  • Fei Zhang

    Here’s to hoping that Mun Segwang was beaten to a pulp night and day before his hanging in 1974.

  • bumfromkorea

    So *that* is why I didn’t just think of the Kim Dynasty when I saw this.

  • que337

    At least, it was not in public.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I don’t think it’s creepy at all since he will be the minister of defense. Remember, the president-elect’s mother was killed in a botched attempt on her father’s life by North Korean agents.

  • Cloudfive

    Dude, it’s creepy. Imagine if Leon Panetta had gone around with a phone charm of JFK pictured on one side and RFK on the other. It’s more creepy because Kim will be working for the daughter of the deceased. It would be different if they was royalty, but South Korea is a democracy.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    A government doesn’t need to be a monarchy for people to show loyalty to its leader. This is his way of showing loyalty to President Park (the daughter, not the father). Nothing creepy about it. I’m more worried about the fact that he’s a grown man with a cellphone charm.

  • Cloudfive

    Okay, his loyalty is less creepy and more scary, for instance, if Park decides five years is not enough or if she wants to silence one of her dissenters.

  • yangachibastardo

    The chances this is gonna happen are nihil

  • Angusmack

    No, actually I was making a comment on the creepy GOP idolization of Mr. Reagan and how it seems to be occurring in a nation that styles itself as the world’s premier democracy. As for the pictures of Mr. Reagan….well, all you had to do is watch a GOP function last year to see them worship at the alter of the Gipper.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Paranoid a bit?

  • Cloudfive

    Probably not. I was just pointing out that, as a public official, Kim’s loyalty is owed foremost to the Korean people and not to dear leader-elect and her family.

  • ex_commander

    Not creepy. Maybe bad judgement, but not creepy.

    Park Chung-hee is a controversial figure to say the least, but his place in modern Korean history can’t simply be summed up by saying he was an iron-fisted dictator (which he certainly was). Taken in the context of the economic, political and social environment at the time, his guidance of Korea from the ruins and ashes of post-Korean War poverty to a modern day industrial nation cannot be ignored nor trivialized. People who lived through that difficult period have an appreciation of some of the good that he did for the country.

  • Mr. Yu

    Nice idea, but that is not even true in U.S. politics.