10/19/2012, 00.00
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Presidential elections in Korea: If Park wins, we'll be going back centuries

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
A Catholic source tells AsiaNews about the political challenge leading to the December elections: "The dictators' daughter is like her father: granitic, but also very short-sighted. The best thing would be a tandem between the other two, both very interested in the common good."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The race leading up to the South Korean presidential election of 19 December "risks stopping the country and bringing it back centuries. If Park Geun-hye were to win, the Saenuri candidate, we will be forced to relive the times of her father, the dictator: she doesn't care about the common good, but only the wellbeing of some powerful groups." So says a Catholic source, who explained to AsiaNews what's behind the political ballet in recent months.

Park "has received baptism and communion, but now declares herself an atheist. It's true that we are all children of God and brothers of one another, but her behavior was improper: she first expressed a wish to live and rule in a totally secular manner, but then she went to Buddhist leaders to seek support in exchange for funds if elected. One does not behave like that, but on the other hand she's doing the same thing her father did during his dictatorship."

The problem lies precisely in the core of her policy: "This conservative candidate believes that South Korea's economic growth is the one and only priority of the country. A point of view that to some extent one can agree with, but which cannot become an excuse to abolish the welfare state and return to the huge gap between rich and poor that we've worked so hard to overcome. Not to mention the relationship with North Korea: if it were up to her we would be at war."

A more positive assessment was expressed of the other two candidates, the Democrat Moon Jae-in and the independent Ahn Cheol-soo: "The former is a practicing Catholic, well known in the Church. He opposed the dictatorship, following the directives of the late Cardinal Kim, and was even arrested and sent to the front with a conscription. Furthermore, he has always remained true to his moral and political convictions."

With regard to the latter, the computing genius Ahn, "it must be said that he doesn't claim to be religious, but his wife is Catholic and active in volunteer work in the hospital. Not to give a "license" only to Catholic candidates, but to say that these two are well-known people in our community."

The best solution "would be a tandem between these two, something they've already hinted at wanting to do. They are both in favor of the welfare state and for a dialogue with North Korea: dialogue, not surrender or servility. We hope that this will happen, because the country has already had its dictatorship and that was enough."




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