She has turned the Oval Office into a family living room. The Oval Office is a place where important state business is conducted, never a private domain.”
On May 30, Park Ji-hyun, a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPJ), sharply criticized a photo of President Yun Seong-yeol (61) and his wife Kim Geon-hye (49). The photo was taken on the 29th, the day before. The picture, uploaded to Mrs. Kim’s fan site “Gongsarang (I love you, Kim Ki),” showed her and her husband playing with their dog in the Oval Office. This image became the target of criticism for “mixing public and private life.
Opposition lawmaker Park also commented, “The Oval Office is a private space.
The Oval Office is neither a private space nor a place to go out for fun. I fear that this could be a sign of state intervention by President Yun’s family.”
If it had been only President Yun in the photo, it might not have been so damning. The reason for this is Mrs. Kim’s rapidly rising popularity.
The fan site Gongsarang was launched last December. The number of members was initially about 30,000, but when Yun assumed the presidency in May of this year, the number grew to nearly 100,000. Even after becoming First Lady, she is supported for her folksy behavior, such as taking out meals at downtown markets. Mrs. Kim has an influence that the opposition cannot ignore.
She also readily discloses her frugal personal life on Instagram. Her favorite white sandals (about 3,500 yen) on Instagram became a topic of conversation and sold out at various stores. A search for “Kim Jian-ki” on “Neighbor Shopping,” a major Korean online shopping site, yielded more than 2,500 hits. Even if you narrow down the search to ‘Kim Jian Ki skirt,’ you will get about 1,500 hits.
Despite its popularity, there is also a backlash that it is “too conspicuous. The spark is his own scandal that broke out during the presidential election.
Last December, she was forced to apologize after allegations that she had misrepresented her career came to light. When Mrs. Kim, who is also a painter, applied for a position as a visiting professor at a private university in 2007, she put false information about her career on her application form. She honestly admitted her guilt and bowed her head, putting an end to the furor.
However, on May 23, the Korean police announced that they would conduct a written investigation of Mrs. Kim for false background. The police went out of their way to make the statement,” said Choi Kwang-ho, director of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Department, “and said, ‘We are not assuming that there is no suspicion. No suspicion’ is one of the reasons for not filing an indictment. There is widespread speculation among the public that Mrs. Kim was able to get away with the crime because she became the First Lady and took power. There are even posts on the Internet saying, ‘I am disappointed in Mrs. Kim.
Amidst this situation, the “mixing of public and private affairs” allegations mentioned at the beginning of this article surfaced. Perhaps to “put out the fire,” Mrs. Kim acted quickly.
On May 31, the day after she was criticized by opposition lawmakers, she resigned as head of her art exhibition planning company, Kobana Contents, with just over two years left in her term of office, which ends in September 2012. I think he did it to avoid criticism that he should concentrate on his job as First Lady,” he said. I think it is a sign of his intention to support the president as hard as he can from now on. She is no longer a semi-private person and will work hard in the Oval Office as well.
Kim’s every move is watched closely by the South Korean public. In the future, her words and actions may be the key to the ups and downs of the Yun administration.
Photo： The People Power Party/Lee Jae-Won/Afro