There are so many things to say, however, unfortunately no amounts of words can accurately explain the current situation of South Korea, post-election. For those who have not heard yet, the conservative party candidate Yoon Sukyeol has been elected to be the 20th president of South Korea. The election was tight and both parties fought hard for their own ideologies and the future they hoped to achieve. South Korea had the second highest voter turnout in its history, marking 77.1% (34,059,715 Voters) out of the 44 million eligible voters. Of those numbers, 47.83% voted for Lee Jaemyung of Democratic Party whilst 48.56% successfully elected Yoon as the new President. Yoon attained such victory by coming in just 0.7% ahead (247,000 votes). Shockingly, the number of invalid votes were higher at 300,000 votes.
What this means for Korea
Yoon’s victory indicates that the conservative’s administration is back in power in 5 years after the imprisonment of the previous conservative President Park Geun Hye. This also means that the ex-dictatorship and its power structure will be returning into Korean executive branch (read previous article for detailed explanation). This election and the events leading up to it, has already shown the deeply entrenched corruption that resides within Korean Prosecution, media, and the religious sector. As prosecutors arrested democratic government officials, ministers and their families over forged evidence that were amplified by the media, the people of South Korea were heavily influenced by such propaganda during this election. Religious groups such as mega churches and cult groups also influenced millions of voters to vote against Lee who promised to crack down on religious corruption and sexual abuse within churches (Lee is a Christian). Lies were told about the Democratic candidate’s past in the most surreal way possible. An actress claimed to have been the mistress of Lee (democratic Candidate) and claimed that he had a spot on his private areas, such news then was over exaggerated by the media, eventually making the prosecutors demand Lee to prove his innocence to a team of doctors, lawyers, prosecutors (by taking his pants off). Such tactics of humiliation and pure low-level insult, surprisingly caught on within the South Korean population where more than 40% of Koreans at some stage believed that Lee was a corrupt official who should be imprisoned. On the other hand, Yoon, his wife, and mother-in-law, have been extorting, and threatening people of all sectors for their personal gains. It was found that Lee’s mother-in-law was part of many real-estate development scandals where she used Yoon’s authority to force the landlords into selling the land for a dirt-cheap price as well as imprisoning her competitors. His wife made personal threats to journalists who were exposing her past as a high-class escort who extorted and beguiled men in power for money and political advancements.
Freedom of speech
Only after 2 days since Yoon’s victory, his wife has already sued a small media company called ‘Seoul’s Voice’ (서울의 소리) over their articles highlighting her scandals. Since Yoon still influences the Korean prosecution (as the ex-prosecutor general), it is expected that the media company will be shut down and the journalists either arrested or silenced. The main civilian media union that supported Lee’s campaign, ‘Open Relatable TV /열린공감 TV’, has announced through their Facebook and website that they have received a personal threat from Yoon and his wife via prosecutors over a phone call that they have been promised “a taste of prosecutor’s republic that you have never imagined” and thus are seeking for lawyers to defend them in the upcoming lawsuits. Kim Ou-Joon a well-known south Korean journalist and radio host has said in his talk show ‘news factory’, that their show may be forced to close by the end of June if Democrats lose the upcoming regional election (and can no longer be protected). The conservative outlets (90% of media market of Korea), have been publishing endless victory articles congratulating Yoon further spreading his propaganda.
The Women and the Children
One of Yoon’s main campaign promises were to abolish and shut down the Ministry of Gender equality and family, this was to focus on equality between men and women instead of “focusing too much on women”. Surprisingly millions of people have been expressing their regrets in voting for Yoon as they have been claiming online that “they didn’t know this was a campaign promise”. Yoon promised some social welfare policies for women, children, and young families however when Lee provided similar, if not better policies, he claimed that Lee was a socialist/communist and is wasting money. It is therefore hard to deduce if Yoon’s social welfare policies will be achieved or not.
Yoon has claimed during his campaign that no elderly job seeking, and welfare programs will be cut or abolished, however, one day after his election victory, his office announced that “Yoon never made any promises, rather it was a mere suggestion”. This has caused some outcries within the 70+ age groups as 75% of 70’s voters gave their support to Yoon. Yoon has also announced that public transports will no longer be free to the elderly, thus already starting to revoke the welfare policies.
Real-estate and property developments
Yoon and the PPP has forever criticised the current ruling Democratic Party for their ‘failure’ in housing market policies. As Yoon is now elected, he plans on lowering taxes in property investment and suspending all restrictions surrounding suburban redevelopments. Unlike his promises to help the young adults buy their first homes, his current policies are projected to benefit real-estate developers and the big banks. Without the housing price restrictions, it is expected that the housing price will climb even higher and faster than under the Democratic Party. One interesting statistics on the election to note is that 67% of the residents of Gangnam district (wealthiest district of South Korea) have voted for Yoon based on his real-estate policies (Gangnam votes swayed Seoul results). The so called ‘riverview’ districts of Seoul (with the highest housing prices) have all voted above 60% in favour of Yoon.
North Korean Relations
Yoon through in and throughout of his campaign mentioned that North Korea is not an enemy to fear, rather an opponent to crush. He added on that North Korea must be dealt with strong forces, his solution being “I will acquire nuclear warheads for South Korea and will launch a pre-emptive strike if they try to scare us” (Paraphrased and translated from the first presidential debate on YouTube). Yoon has also promised that in national emergency, he will invite the Japanese National Guards to come into Korean soil for ‘protection’. Though many realists in America and the West seems to find Yoon’s victory an assurance for the Allies, most Asian scholars see Yoon’s victory as “another step closer to a world at war”.
Some Fast Facts
• In the span of two days since the election, the Democratic Party welcomed 100,000+ new members, and of those 75% were female age 20-30.
• According to KBS polls, 48.6% of Yoon voters claimed that they did not like Yoon and found him unlikable.
• Across all ages more women supported Lee than Yoon.
• Yoon has appointed a Shaman / sorcerer to be his main advisor during his campaign. It is suspected that more occult leaders will be appointed into government positions.
It is true, my heart is broken, I have cried endlessly last few days from this shocking election
results. Many Koreans all over the world are mourning over the victory of the exdictatorship, many are concerned that Korea will ‘go back in time’, many like myself are
simply worried that the poor, weak and the needy will not survive the next 5 years. Even
more concerning, with the current Democratic Party leadership being targeted by the
prosecution, we may see a Déjà vu such as the events of President Roh’s suicide in 2009.
(Prosecution arrested the family members and close friends of President Roh by forging
evidence. All alleged corruption cases were closed immediately after the suicide of President
Roh). Yet, there is hope. 40,000 people gathered and paid respect, in front of Lee’s office
the day after the election to cheer him to continue the fight. Many have been commenting
“it is God’s will that Lee has lost, to think about this, it is a waste to only get to use Lee’s
administration skills for 5 years. We want to use him for longer years, and we need him to
continue to serve”. It is unclear what Lee will do next, but despite Lee being an unliked
figure within his own Party (Lee is more of an administrator than a politician), millions of
Koreans are cheering him on to take the role of the Leader of the Democratic Party in the
months to come. I hope and pray that Koreans will not have to suffer greatly under the new
authoritarian rule, but rather reflect and learn well, the importance of well-informed voting.