The Day South Korea’s “Dying Government” Gives Up on Restoring Japan-Korea Relations
Three months after its inauguration, the approval rating has plummeted to the 20% level. Allegations of sexual entertainment of a ruling party representative, problems with preferential treatment for relatives, and accompanying a friend of his wife on a foreign trip: ......
South Korea’s new administration is on the verge of death just three months after its inauguration.
According to results released on August 12 by the Korea Gallup pollster, the approval rating of President Yun Seong-yeol (61%), who took office in May, has plummeted to 25%. The lame-duck status of Yun’s approval rating is considered an indicator of a dying president. President Yun’s approval rating has plummeted to 25%, below the lame duck threshold of 30%,” said Shin-il Byeon, editor-in-chief of the Korea Report.
President Yun is just trying to do the opposite of what his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, did. Adding to his sluggishness is the intensifying infighting in the ruling party.
The infighting refers to the conflict between Yun and Lee Joon-suk, 37, the former head of the ruling National People’s Power Party, which was sparked by allegations of sexual misconduct that were uncovered last December. Ri Sang-taek, a professor at Yonggok University and an expert on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, explains.
The allegations of sexual entertainment were reported by the YouTube channel “Carosello Institute. Court documents corroborated the story. According to the record of Mr. A’s statement, who is currently imprisoned for fraud, he entertained Mr. Lee twice in 2001 and gave him souvenirs worth several hundred thousand yen. In return, Mr. A wanted then-President Park Geun-hye, who had favored Mr. Lee, to inspect his IT company. Because in South Korea, a presidential visit can result in huge subsidies.”
Mr. Lee is said to have been trying to put out the fire.
He made the IT company write a memorandum saying that there was no sexual entertainment in exchange for an investment of about 70 million yen,” Lee said. However, “Carosello” obtained audio recordings of phone calls between Mr. Lee and his secretary, who tried to destroy the evidence. When we filed a second accusation in March of this year, it caused a huge uproar.
A superior attitude toward a senior member of the Diet
As a result of the uproar, Mr. Lee was suspended from party membership for six months at the Central Ethics Committee meeting in July and lost his position as a representative. After losing his position, Yi fiercely criticized President Yun, saying that he had lost the people’s hearts and minds. Since “Carosello,” which reported the allegations of sexual entertainment, was affiliated with the ruling party, it is not surprising that he felt he had been “set up. The former president’s wife, Ms. Byeon, said, “I’ve had enough of him.
He was no longer of any use to us. While Lee was young, fresh, and popular among the people, he was disliked by many party members. In South Korea, where Confucianism has a strong influence and hierarchical relationships based on age are strictly enforced, he was giving orders to veteran members of the party from the top. It is said that even President Yun disliked him. I think he was relieved of his post when he won the presidential election, and the ruling party increased the level of suspicion, leading to Lee’s ouster.
It is not only infighting that is damaging the public’s perception of Yun. It was discovered that President Yun had heavily employed a relative as an appointed administrator in the presidential office. Kim Keon-hee, 49, has also come under scrutiny.
Kim Gong-hui was the head of the art planning company Kobana Contents until May, and two members of the company’s staff accompanied her to official events as First Lady, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in June. When she attended the NATO summit meeting in June, a friend accompanied her on the presidential plane. His public and private life have been increasingly accused of being mixed up.
At the August 15 Kwangbokjeol (Liberation Day) ceremony, President Yun said that he would “quickly restore and develop” relations with Japan. However, the possibility that he may give up on that goal is growing in the wake of a slump in his approval rating and a string of scandals.
At the Kwangbokjeol, President Yun did not go into historical issues, such as the ex-commissioned officers. The former commando workers criticized him, saying, ‘It was really an empty statement. If Prime Minister Fumio Kishida does not make some concessions, such as an apology, President Yun, backed into a corner, may turn against Japan.
In fact, President Yun’s attitude toward Japan has begun to waver. Mr. Hen continues.
In February of this year, he stated in an interview with the Korean media that he would not refute Japan’s territorial claims to Takeshima. However, in July, when the Kishida cabinet approved a white paper on defense that referred to Takeshima as ‘our inherent territory,’ the South Korean Foreign Ministry condemned it, saying, ‘We will respond firmly to any provocation against Dokdo [Takeshima]. The South Korean government also said that it would allow the discharge of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved it, but in response to opposition protests, it changed its stance, saying that it had never agreed to the idea.
The Yun administration is already in dire straits. The cloud over Japan-Korea relations is also becoming increasingly clouded.
From the September2, 2022issue ofFRIDAY
Photo： Yonhap News