Moon meets Yoon while Park returns

Moon meets Yoon while Park returns

Hi, welcome to the third issue of Korea Kontext newsletter.

This issue was supposed (at least in my mind) to be sent yesterday but I happened to watch Twin Peaks Season 3 (Korean OTT service Watcha has in its catalogue, I recently learned) in the weekend and it devoured my Monday.

SPOILER ALERT: one thing that caught my attention in the show was the notion that it all began with the nuke test in White Sands: the evil and its incarnation.

Hmm… it got me thinking: North Korea has conducted six nuke tests so far and speculations are the seventh is imminent. The Bobs are coming!

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Moon & Yoon: well, at least they met now

(Image: Cheong Wa Dae)

Moon and Yoon met for dinner at the Blue House after two weeks’ strife but there was little substance from Yoon’s chief of staff Jang Je-won’s briefing.

Maybe there was little to discuss. The meat of the strife, which is the issue of the BAI committee member appointment, was sorted out by the BAI chairman after he indicated that it is inappropriate for an outgoing President to appoint the committee members.

Although Moon is said to have shown his willingness to cooperate, it remains to be seen how enthusiastic Moon is in doing so.

Hiring: Prime Minister… but who really cares?

Speculation mounts about who’s going to be nominated as the first Prime Minister of the Yoon administration. Ahn Cheol-soo, who is busy leading Yoon’s transition team, is also reported to be considering the job.

But we need to keep in mind that in the South Korean system, Prime Minister is often little more than Mr Nobody. US Vice President at least has the final say at the Senate. Korean PM has nothing.

It is well known that in the first days of the transition team, some officials openly suggested to let the current PM Kim Bu-gyeom remain in office, in attempt to seek Minjoo’s support in approving other minister nominees.

That’s the weight the post has.

Everything you know about class voting may be wrong

(Image: Maeil Business News, annotation by this editor)

These are probably the most important post-election charts, based on a survey by East Asia Institute.

The first one is the candidate people (blue: Lee Jae-myung / red: Yoon Seok-yeol) voted for segmented by household income, from two million won ($1,640) a month to over seven million won ($5,750). The second one is segmented by job types.

Though any serious Korea watchers would have known this for several years, it is still jarring to see how much of the people of 6-7 million won monthly income voted for Lee in the last election.

There’s a lot to study in these charts.

Park has come home (to start over)

Park during her presidency (Image:

The former President Park Geun-hye, pardoned in last December but has been staying at a hospital, moved into her new residence in her political hometown Daegu last Thursday.

From the images we’ve seen after her downfall, I had thought that she no longer has will to carry on in politics.

Now it seems I was wrong.

Upon her arrival to the new home (she recently bought the estate as she has no home after her Seoul residence was sequestered), Park betrayed expectations by making a fairly long statement.

The statement sounds very much like a declaration of coming back to politics.

I will do as much as I can to help good talents realize the development of Daegu and the Republic of Korea.

Park Geun-hye after arriving her new residence in Daegu, March 25 2022

With the local election coming in June, it will be very interesting to see what role Park will play.

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