Where does President Park find these people?

With the Ahn Dae-hee nomination not working out, President Park nominated former JoongAng Ilbo editor-in-chief Moon Chang-geuk for the prime minister’s spot.

I guess she’s a fan of the Yoon Chang-jung school of political inclusiveness. Now, to be fair, this is a guy who is unlikely to get busted in the states playing grab-ass with the staff, and he appears to have little in the way of personal wealth, which I suppose is a positive in this political climate. Here’s how Cheong Wa Dae describes him:

When announcing the nominations, Blue House spokesperson Min Kyung-wook called Moon “a committed and upright journalist who has brought objective criticism and rational alternatives to his efforts to set right the mistaken practices and longstanding vices of South Korean society.”

Now, this is how his own political friends describe him:

“He grew up in a Christian family in Pyongan Province [in today’s North Korea], so he’s staunchly conservative,” said a political veteran who is close to Moon. “His columns, and everything else he writes, are like ultra-right-wing cudgels.”

Another acquaintance from the ruling Saenuri Party (NFP) expressed confidence that Moon would work “with a sense of ethics and conviction,” but worried, “He may be too conservative to be the right person for bridging divisions and achieving unity.”

“He’s also not especially sociable, so there could end up being communication problems if he finds himself under attack from the opposition, such as during parliamentary questioning,” the acquaintance added.

So, basically he’s an old, right-wing Christian curmudgeon. Great.

Giving evidence to this is KBS, which showed video of a lecture Moon gave at a Church in Yongsan in 2011 in which he said Japanese colonialism was “God’s will,” suggesting that the Korean people needed a trial after idling away 500 years under the “Yi Dynasty” (and I’ll let your Korean friends explain to you the connotation of the term “Yi Dynasty,” or 이조).

He also said the division of Korea was God’s will, saying had God given Koreans full independence, the communists would have taken over the entire place. Oh, and that Koreans are lazy and lack self-reliance. Lots of fun stuff in that last link, BTW, if you read Korean. The Chosun Ilbo, quoting NoCut News, notes that he also told university students that Korea needn’t get an apology for the Comfort Women from Japan, and that Korea should no longer bring up the compensation issue.

He thinks President Park is God’s will, too:

However, the nominee changed his stance on Park after she was elected president in December 2012, calling her victory “God’s choice.”

“What if the election produced an opposite result? Her election is like a guardian angel showing up and saving the protagonist in danger,” he said in a Dec. 24, 2012 editorial.

On a positive note, I’ll grant that the guy has a set of brass balls. When Yonhap cornered him this morning to ask if planned to issue an apology, he responded by asking what he should apologize for. I also think the shinny dome is rather dashing.

  • Aja Aja

    I like his philosophy.

  • brier

    All good points, but in my humble opinion not sure having a politically correct view of history will help him run the government day to day. If he feels the need to be vindictive to the left, then he shouldn’t take the job. (maybe I am far too naive) Let’s give the guy chance.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Fair enough, but one suspects it’s precisely because he has such politically incorrect views that he got the nomination, not his executive experience.

  • Aja Aja

    이어 문창극 후보자는 이 칼럼에서 “일본에 대해 더 이상 우리 입으로 과거문제를 말하지 않는 게 좋겠다”며 “해방된 지 60년이 지났는데 아직도 과거에 매달려 있는 우리가 부끄럽다”고 쓰기도 했다

    Right on the money. It’s not that he has a ‘wrong view on history’, he advocates personal responsibility, standing up and being self assured, and moving towards the future, not wrapped up in past.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    That would be fine if he wasn’t essentially saying it was shameful to seek justice for the victims of gang rape by the Imperial Japanese Army.

    I should also say I’m not especially surprised by the comment. It’s his generation that allowed the Comfort Women issue to go unaddressed for so long. Just look at how groups like the 광복회 opposed things like putting a memorial to the Comfort Women at Seodaemun Prison and you get an idea of the attitudes:

    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=110&oid=038&aid=0002379488

  • pawikirogii

    thanks for saying that, robert. the man’s comment is insensitive and appears to relieve the japanese of responsibility. if the wa did the right thing, we wouldn’t be talking about comfort women 60 years on.

  • wangkon936

    Korean Christians. Just as colorful as American Christians.

  • WMunny

    Robert, the blog post writer’s name doesn’t show up on my iPhone. From the title, I had assumed that The Korean was posting. I later opened it on my PC and saw that it was you.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Sorry to disappoint. Actually, I’d be having the same issue as well. Will try to correct.

  • bumfromkorea

    Yeah, but this is the Prime Minister spot. He’s not going to actually do a lot of things. It’s basically a symbolic position, and having the guy with his, er, colorful rhetorical past on such a symbolic position isn’t going to sit well with anyone.

  • brier

    You know you are probably right. Not only is his position politically incorrect, but on the wrong side of history.

    It is getting surreal that the bird brain party can’t find somebody who doesn’t have a disgraced incident from the past which disqualifies them. It says a lot about how the older generation operated and what is the current political requirements for leadership.

  • Ewnerd Nasalo

    It’s like he arrived at soberingly difficult conclusions, but the way he got there and his reasoning is fucked. It’s like getting the right answer, but by the wrong means. Like Forest Gump, with added judgmental bible bashing.

  • redwhitedude

    What about if he mouthed off on the Seowul victims in the wrong way. You know what that did to Chung’s mayoral campaign.

  • redwhitedude

    Except Koreans are a bit more lacking in the PR arena than American Christians.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Colorful is a nice way to put it.

  • RElgin

    You are being generous.
    I specifically posted about the potential detrimental affect upon governance these Korean Christians can have upon the society and country and darned if the president did not install one! This will probably backfire too, considering the man’s inflexible bent.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    One difference is that American Christians believe the US is a Christian nation, whereas Korean Christians seem to view Korea as a nation that needs to be converted. I’m not sure which is worse.

  • redwhitedude

    Well at least they are not running around with AK-47s.
    Also Christianity in Korea is much more recent especially when you look at when it began getting significant number of the population converted. There is something to be said about religious fervor when conversion is recent.

  • RElgin

    EXACTLY

  • redwhitedude

    Time to purge the old guard then.

  • Wedge1

    Good. Korea has asked for and received enough apologies over the decades. It’s refreshing to see someone who advocates moving on for a change.

  • wangkon936

    Wedge, Wedge, Wedge. We have had this conversation in the past. I think you will never understand. It’s a little saddening is all.

  • bumfromkorea

    This is the typical exchange.

    Wedge: Japan has made enough apologies.
    Others: What about all the contradictory comments in between?
    Wedge: [radio silence]

    Few weeks later, he just repeats the same thing again.

  • redwhitedude

    It’s not quite that simple Robert. Being a rape victim back in the 50s and 60s was a source of great shame and people kept quiet about it. It’s only since the 90s that these victims mustered enough courage to speak up about the atrocity. Back in the 50s and 60s that would have been unthinkable and could risk ostracism.

  • redwhitedude

    Wedge seems to suffer from short term memory or he makes a habit at banging his head on something which makes him forget.

  • redwhitedude

    To put that beyond reasonable doubt maybe the Diet in Japan can pass a measure officially apologizing about these atrocities.

  • wangkon936

    It’s simpler than that. Let’s say you have a next door neighbor who had a grandfather who raped your grandmother. Okay, that all happened in the past. Fine. He even vaguely apologized for what his grandfather did. Then you ask him if he specifically is apologizing for the rape of said grandmother and then he returns back a confused blank stare. Wouldn’t anybody feel rather insecure and weirded out by such a neighbor? Wouldn’t the feelings be somewhat magnified by the inescapable fact that such an amnesic person just has to live so close to him?

  • Wedge1

    Ooooh, that hurts. Look, just because I have better things to do than debating people on an anonymous forum doesn’t mean you win the argument.

    Asking for apologies all the time is for losers. Winners move on and become successful. Fortunately, Korean companies aren’t holding out for special treatment from the former enemy, they are going out and outcompeting the likes of Sony and Panasonic. That’s the answer: Beat them at their own game.

    Apologies in advance if I don’t revisit this thread.

  • bumfromkorea

    ㅋㅋㅋ okay then.

  • platethief

    Alas, the troll is hungry, it seems.

  • redwhitedude

    Winners admit the wrongs and move on. Just to make that clear.

  • RolyPoly

    Moon is pro-America Christian. I like all he says. I hope he gets to be the prime minister and the next president. By then, China-Japan war (WWIII) will start and Korea needs a smart person like Moon to lead the country.

  • RolyPoly

    Anti-Japan means pro-China. Should SK belong to the China camp (NK is already there) and fight the US? As I said, SK should keep a low profile and let these losers, China and Japan, kill each other off.

  • RolyPoly

    Korean Christians will be the representatives of Jesus on earth. American Christians are no longer obeying the Lord. They just want to get along with Moslem people. Obama set the tone. As Moon said, SK would be used by God to spread the good news to China. By then, the Europe and the US will turn into a pagan nation. No longer trusting Jesus. Holy Spirit have moved to SK.

  • RElgin

    Calling someone’s ignorance the “Holy Spirit” is quite a stretch. Certainly you can be more discriminating in your examples?

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