Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kim-Park-Lee Dynasty Updates

North Korea offered their 'deepest condolences' to Singapore for the loss of LEE Kuan Yew. Rodong Sinmun didn't specify whether they were referring to LEE Kuan Yew the dynasty founder, LEE Kuan Yew the capitalist nation builder, or LEE Kuan Yew the 'democrat'. 

Meanwhile, as expected, South Korean conservatives are drawing parallels between Singapore's founder and their icon PARK Chung-hee. Of course, her daughter PARK Geun-hye will attend the funerals: 

Park Geun-hye to attend Lee Kuan Yew's funerals. As far as controversial nation builder father go, Lee Hsien Loong luckier so far - twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/580173247053889536

PGH didn't attend Nelson Mandela's funerals, but she'd never met him personally. And she did meet LKY, an admirer of South Korea. Korea JoongAng Daily unearthed today the photo of his 1979 visit, between the acting First Lady, and a man who would be assassinated seven days later:

Another KJD cover with Park Geun-hye. With Lee Kuan Yew and her dad Park Chung-hee (7 days before his assassination) - twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/580504028079091712
As Singapore learns to live in post-LKY times, South Korea seems to distance itself from the towering figure of its recent history. PARK Chung-hee recently dropped behind ROH Moo-hyun as the all time favorite president in the polls, and the recent inauguration of the museum in his Sindang-dong house didn't make a splash - BTW here's a virtual visit, courtesy Chosun Ilbo:

PGH has been eluding the PCH issue ever since she was elected, letting ultra-conservatives run the agenda and damage both her image and that of her father, when to the contrary she should be facing history and showing the right example to Japan and to the world (see for instance 3rd part of "Comfort Women': No Resolution Without Resoluteness. From Everyone, Please."*).

It's even more counter productive that MOON Jae-in, who precisely embodies the ROH Moo-hyun line, has made a significant move towards appeasement by visiting the dictator's grave last month, following his nomination as the opposition leader (NPAD - New Politics Alliance for Democracy).

MOON Jae-in on Sejongno, procession for ROH Moo-hyun funerals (see "A Yellow Sea For Roh Moo-hyun" - May 2009)
The time has come for South Korea to reunite, and for South Korean politics to move on in a dispassionate way. That's possible, particularly now that pro-North Korean extremists have at long last been sidelined (even more after the recent attack on US Ambassador Mark Lippert). Silencing the ultra-conservatives that keep polluting the debate at the other end of the spectrum would definitely help.

Setting PARK Chung-hee's record straight across the aisle is both a necessity and an opportunity for the nation, and the president can't dodge that personal duty / waste that personal golden opportunity any longer.

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* BTW memo to Shinzo: do you also want to rewrite LEE Kuan Yew's autobiography? It includes his personal memories of Imperial Japan abuses, including sexual slavery.

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