Korean Politics and Park Geunhye

Let’s talk about leaked documents.

No, we’re not going to talk about Hillary Clinton.

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We’re going to talk about South Korea. Because I am NOT about to wade into the world of American politics.

Now, if you were to look at the internet, you would think the ENTIRE WORLD is made up of the United States, refugees and ISIS. And okay, I get it – they’re very important. The US is powerful, refugees need our help, and ISIS needs to get the hell out. However, there is SO MUCH MORE happening in the world.

I don’t remember if I ever mentioned President Park Geunhye before, but she is the current president of South Korea, and also happens to be the daughter of Park Chunghee, a dictator who ruled South Korea for 18 years.

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Preface: I have never liked, nor trusted, Park Geunhye. So I find NONE of this surprising. 

ANYWAYS.

In the past week or so, a computer was found that belonged to Choi Sunsil. Choi is not an elected official. Not a politician. According to Wikipedia and NPR, she is the daughter of a cult founder, and apparently has taken over this role in the Church of Eternal Life.

So why should we care about some woman’s computer?

Because it was FILLED with confidential files and secret documents that she should not have had access to. 

It turns out that she is a close friend of Park Geunhye, and was privy to loads of information, and was in a position of influence in the president’s life. Now, Park says that Choi only had say in affairs before the election and then shortly after.

There is so much more to this than having a say in a candidate’s speeches though.

According to CNN, Choi pressured Ewha Women’s University to accept her daughter and give her good grades despite not going to classes. The New York Times references to videos found by Chosun where officials had to give into her orders, and how she even had control over Park’s wardrobe. Even The Economist has chimed in, talking about how Choi has managed to “arm-twist” money out of some of the top Korean companies to giving over 80 billion won to two different non-profit companies that she ran that were supposed to promote Korean culture overseas.

TL;DR: President secretly discusses information with a “Rasputin” type character (not my description, comes from other news sources) who has been taking advantage of her situation to the best of her ability.

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Now, the fun thing about South Korea is that they will pretty much protest everything. A trip downtown to Gwanghwamun Square will usually have someone protesting something. But the scene in Gwanghwamun Square is beyond anything that I can imagine right now.

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200,000 people protested last night in the entire downtown core against Park Geunhye!!!

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It is incredible to think the following:

  • That many people came out to protest
  • That many people were able to protest PEACEFULLY
  • The police merely stood there and protected the people and their right to protest

Can you imagine what would happen if this happened in another country? Every country has a rich collection of protests that become riots, and police becoming power hungry. But tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of people met peacefully with one thing in mind – telling Park Geunhye to leave.

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Everything about this case is so much bigger than anything we have here in North America. Emails? Korea raises you a cult leader privy to political details. Protests? Korea brings out the population of an entire city for a candlelight protest. And I need to mention once again – they did it peacefully. Which is the very definition of awesome.

I know that “world politics” right now equals American Politics, and with with the US literally becoming Gotham City with a psychopath millionaire running for president, I’m not going to play down the gravity of next Tuesday Please god vote but don’t vote Trump but I want to make sure that you all know about crazy political stuff happening all over the world.

Oh, and keeping with the theme of today’s topic of poltical turmoil (Vive la révolution!!) I hope you all have a wonderful Guy Fawkes Day. I’m going to go watch “V For Vendetta” while humming one of the only songs I like from Les Miserables.