‘Playing Gravure Photography in the President’s Office’ and ‘Incomprehensible Photos’… Korea’s First Lady ‘Reacts to Heavy Criticism’ | FRIDAY DIGITAL

‘Playing Gravure Photography in the President’s Office’ and ‘Incomprehensible Photos’… Korea’s First Lady ‘Reacts to Heavy Criticism’

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Mrs. Kim visits a market in Daejeon, central South Korea, on April 14 to eat cake (PHOTO: YONHAPNEWS)

South Korea’s First Lady Kim Keon-hee, 50, has come under intense criticism.

On April 16, Lee Su-jin, a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPJ), took issue with a number of photos taken in the president’s office that have appeared on her fan site “Keon-Sarang (I love you, Kim Keon-hee)” and other sites. She made the following accusation in the National Assembly.

The staff in the president’s office are very enthusiastic about taking personal photos of Mrs. Kim. Can’t they even distinguish between public and private matters? I can’t stand to see Mrs. Kim playing with her photogravure photos any longer.

Breaking a Promise to the People?

The following day, on the 17th, Park Hong-geun, the representative of the Co-operative Democratic Party in the National Assembly, also condemned the situation as follows.

President Yun Suk-yeol has been treated like a backdrop, and an incomprehensible picture of Mrs. Kim as the centerpiece is plastered all over the presidential office’s website. During the presidential election, Mrs. Kim promised before the entire nation that she would ‘only be faithful to her role as a wife’ and that she would ‘quietly help out in the household. She must have revealed her true nature.

When she meets with the families of those abducted by North Korea, she says she will “take a hard line,” and when she meets with animal rights groups, she says she will “put an end to dog-eating within her term. (Her political comments are) so numerous that it is hard to know who is the president elected by the people.

It is true that the talented Mrs. Kim has attracted a great deal of attention and exposure, and in early April alone, she attended 11 major events, and many of her photos are posted on the presidential website. Meanwhile, the approval rating of her husband, President Yun, stood at 27% in mid-April, down from the 30% level in early April (according to Gallup, a South Korean research firm). The president is probably forced to rely on Mrs. Kim’s popularity to manage her administration.

In response to criticism from the opposition parties, the president’s office held a press conference to refute the criticism.

The president’s office held a press conference to respond to the opposition’s criticism, saying, “It is difficult for the president, who is engaged in national politics, to attend many events. The President’s office has been receiving many requests from organizers saying, ‘If the President cannot come, at least let Mrs. Kim come. She participates in events that she herself is interested in, such as climate change and animal welfare. (The reason for the increased exposure is that the weather has warmed up in the spring, and there are more events than in the cold winter months.

For better or worse, Korea’s first ladies are in the spotlight. No matter what she says or does, she is the subject of controversy.


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