From Being Loved to Being Hated — Reason Why South Korea’s First Lady is Being Investigated by Prosecutors | FRIDAY DIGITAL

From Being Loved to Being Hated — Reason Why South Korea’s First Lady is Being Investigated by Prosecutors

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
President Yun and his wife are in a tight spot after a spate of allegations and even protests (Image: AP/Afro)

South Korean President Yun Seong-Yeol’s approval rating has been in a slump that shows no sign of abating.

According to Realmeter, a public opinion polling organization, the approval rating was 36.4% on September 20, 34.8% on September 21, 34.9% on September 22, and 32.8% on September 23, with a downward trend with each passing day. One of the reasons for this is the numerous allegations against his wife, Kim Keon-hee (50).

“One is the manipulation of the stock price of a subsidiary of Deutsche Motors, which has sales rights in Korea. The second is that she failed to declare her jewelry and other assets, including accessories worn during a visit to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries in June (totaling approximately 10 million yen), which were not entered in the assets section of the report.

The third is an allegation of plagiarism in a dissertation. The Korean Association of Private University Professors and other organizations pointed out that a dissertation for which he received a doctoral degree from Kookmin University’s Graduate School of Techno-design Specialties was ‘probably plagiarized. The fourth is that he was accompanied by a private citizen when he visited foreign countries. The wife of the presidential secretary for personnel affairs accompanied the president on his NATO trip and boarded the presidential plane, despite the fact that she was a private citizen,” said a South Korean newspaper reporter.

In addition to this, many other problems have been pointed out with Mrs. Kim, such as her misrepresentation of her background and her hiring of acquaintances for the presidential office.

Her favorite products are also sold out

When President Yun first took office (in May of this year), Mrs. Kim was immensely popular. The number of members of the fan site ‘Keon-Sarang (I love you, Keon-Sarang),’ which was launched last December, was initially about 30,000, but since Yun assumed the presidency, the number has grown to nearly 100,000.

Even after she became First Lady, she was supported for her folksy words and actions, such as taking out meals at a downtown market. She also casually shares her personal life on her Instagram. Her favorite white sandals (approx. 3,500 yen) and skirt (approx. 5,500 yen) on her Instagram became the talk of the town and sold out at various stores. They were so popular that a search for “Kim Keon-hee” on a major Korean online shopping site yielded more than 2,500 hits.

However, her popularity plummeted as scandals erupted one after another. In the Korean media, she has been harshly criticized as “the wife of scandals” and “a dirty first lady.” The crisis looming over Mrs. Kim is not limited to mere criticism.

In September, the opposition parties decided to propose the “Kim Keon-hee Special Prosecutor Law” and make it a party rule. A special prosecutor appointed by the National Assembly will investigate and pursue allegations against Mrs. Kim. According to a public opinion poll, 62.7% of the public said that a special prosecutor is necessary. This is much higher than the 32.4% who said it was not necessary. If the special inspection is applied, it would be a major blow to the Yun administration. It could be fatal.

The brilliant and talented first lady is now the target of an investigation. The public’s suspicions have grown too great to ignore, and there have even been large-scale protests in the capital, Seoul.

  • Photo AP/Afro

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles