So… Park Geun-hye’s transition team is shaping up, with former Constitutional Court chief justice Park Yong-joon as its chairman.
Two “foreigners”—I’d come up with a better term, but I’m feeling lazy—made it onto the committee, too.
Musical director Kolleen Park was named to the transition team’s special committee for youth. Good for her.
Also getting named to Team Park was In Yo-han, a.k.a. Dr. John Linton, who was named the vice chair of the team’s Committee for Grand Public Unity (or however they want to translate that).
Linton is a fifth-generation resident of Korea. The family came to Korea in the 1890s with the American Southern Presbyterian Mission—some years back, I posted a photo essay of the mission’s many historic homes, churches and schools that remain to this day in the city of Gwangju.
Dr. Linton noted during a Royal Asiatic Society lecture that the American Southern Presbyterian missionaries came to Korea not long after the Civil War, a conflict he jokingly referred to as the “War of Northern Aggression.” Five generations later, feelings are still raw, apparently—Press By PLE alleges he’s also said US President Abraham Lincoln was 100 times the dictator Park Chung-hee was—Honest Abe, after all, shut down 300 newspapers and arrested a state legislature without trial (I’m guessing he’s referring to this).
I’d be outraged, except a) I’m not seeing a time or place attached to that alleged comment, and more importantly b) even if he did say it, I’ve written far worse about President Lincoln myself.
I do have a serious question, though. Not serious like in important, but like in I’m honestly asking. Not to put to fine a point on this, but it seems the old missionary families here are just as lily white now as they were when they got off the boat a century ago. Are there rules in missionary societies—formal or otherwise—against marrying the locals? Just curious.