Pres Yoon's inauguration speech, highlighted

Pres Yoon's inauguration speech, highlighted

International solidarity for freedom

The most remarkable was his remark on the international solidarity for freedom. 

If one’s freedom is violated or one is denied the basic necessities that are fundamental to being a free citizen, then the rest of society must come together and make amends. Individual countries must do so but global citizens must also come together in solidarity to address these injustice if and when they arise. Hunger, poverty, abuse of power and armed conflict strips away our individual freedom and robs us of our inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. We, as global citizens who enjoy real freedom, must never turn a blind eye when freedom is attacked.

Official translation of President Yoon’s inauguration speech, May 10 2022

The English version toned down the message (deliberately, I think). It sounds like one of the platitudes we often hear in politicians’ speeches, but in the original Korean, it sounds pretty different:

그리고 개별 국가뿐 아니라 국제적으로도 기아와 빈곤, 공권력과 군사력에 의한 불법행위로 개인의 자유가 침해되고 자유시민으로서의 존엄한 삶이 유지되지 않는다면 모든 세계시민이 자유시민으로서 연대하여 도와야 하는 것입니다.

(My translation) And if an individual is denied freedom and can’t maintain a life with dignity because of hunger, poverty, abuse of power, and illegal act by military might, the citizens of the world ought to help them in solidarity as free citizens.

The original clearly states that if another country suffers a military invasion, South Korea should offer help.

Does this mean that Yoon will provide weapons to Ukraine, which is reportedly what the US asked? It’s possible, but I’ll wait a bit. 

While Yoon apparently has some ideas of his own on topics other than law and prosecution, I didn’t have much impression that his ideas and visions are reflected well in his policies. He has little political experience, and his political aides and confidants don’t seem to share his ideas and visions. 

On North Korea

Probably the most unremarkable. 

“If North Korea genuinely embarks on a process to complete denuclearization, we are prepared to work with the international community to present an audacious plan that will vastly strengthen North Korea’s economy and improve the quality of life for its people.”

The first thing that crossed my mind was the Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness policy of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

It didn’t look that feasible thirteen years ago when it was first announced, and much less so now. 

I’ve pointed out several times that Yoon’s picks for top government posts consist of mainly Lee Myung-bak era guys, and this tendency gets stronger when it comes to NatSec/NK team. Both the National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han and the deputy NSA Kim Tae-hyo are from the MB administration.

This indicates the lack of policy options for North Korea in this administration.

While it’s time to accept that North Korea’s voluntary denuclearization is not attainable, no one dares to say it out loud in public. 

Han Dong-hoon hearing

Assembly’s confirmation hearing of Justice minister nominee Han Dong-hoon has made several SNL moments.

Han is known to be the brightest among the prosecutors, but the Minjoo lawmakers in the Assembly legislation committee were incompetent and unprepared. 

Aside from being a national laughing stock, this farce will worsen the public’s view of prosecutor reform.

‘So… these clowns wrote the reform bills?’

One more step toward a politician for Han, but his image was also tarnished, mainly by his daughter’s education controversy.

Lee Jae-myung reaches for low-hanging fruit

The rumors were proven true: Lee Jae-myung announced that he’s running for the Assembly seat previously held by the former Minjoo party leader Song Young-gil, now running for the Seoul mayor. 

Lee needs the lawmaker’s badge for several reasons, and historically, the constituency favored Minjoo, so he won’t have any difficulties getting one.

There were some discussions in the PPP about whether to appoint a political heavyweight as its candidate to counter Lee. Still, today, the party decided to nominate a local chap who’s been around for years. It appears that the party leadership concluded that no one could beat the former Presidential candidate.

This is going to be Lee’s debut in central politics.