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Member since: Sat Mar 14, 2009, 09:45 PM
Number of posts: 2,984

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(South Korea) Yoon Seok-yeol's "apple" apology and the Chun Doo-hwan dictatorship

Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol gave a presentation in Busan, October 19, during his presidential primary campaign, in which he expressed approval of the former dictatorship of Chun Doo-hwan. He basically said that except for the ROK Army's slaughter of popular resistance to Chun Doo-hwan's coup d'etat, in Kwangju, (May 18, 1980), Chun's martial law regime administered South Korea well. His tactless remark went viral on the internet and social media throughout South Korea and met with widespread disapproval. People's Power Party leadership called on him to apologize to the many Korean people offended by his thoughtless remarks. Yoon then posted a somewhat lengthy and circuitous apology on social media, which basically said he was sorry for his shortcoming, that he didn't adequately perceive the sensitivity of affected South Koreans, who had suffered at the hands of the Chun Du-won. Yoon asserted he would learn to be a better politician as a result of the learning experience.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 10.22-10.23) (Left) Yoon's "Dol" celebration picture; (center) "memorable Indian apple;" (right) Yoon's Jindo dog being offered an apple, Dori like his father likes Indian apples. All comments on the posts had been removed.

However, after Yoon's written apology was posted, 10 hours later at night, a photo attributed to Yoon's instagram address was uploaded, suggesting that Yoon took the matter lightly and was taunting his critics. The picture of Yoon's traditional Dol ( 돌 ) celebration picture at age one, show's him sitting at the ceremonial table of fruit, holding an apple. This was posted on October 20. Sa gwa ( 사과 ) means apology in Korean; it is also a homonym for "apple." The caption under the Dol photo of Yoon as a one year old baby said, that even today Yoon favored apples over other fruit. On October 22, two more photos with a sardonic "sa gwa" theme were uploaded on social media, one of an indoor plant from which an apple hangs by a thread. The caption underneath says "memorable Indian apple." Another picture uploaded shows Yoon's Jindo dog (a Korean dog breed) being offered an apple (apology). The caption underneath said, Dori (Yoon's dog) resembles his father in that he likes (an) Indian apple (apology). Indo sagwa ( 인도사과 ) can also mean, moral or humane apology or guided or obligated apology in this context. One political pundit compared this kind of inappropriate biting sarcasm as characteristic of the "Ilbe" internet hate sites frequented by right wing young males so popular in South Korea now.

Shortly after the pictures were uploaded and went viral on social media, Yoon had a pre-scheduled televised debate, one on one, with a minor PPP candidate, Yoo Seong-min, during the conservative party's primary campaign process. In the debate, Yoo Seong-min questioned Yoon extensively concerning the circumstances surrounding the uploaded pictures of apples in various contexts. At first Yoon appeared to be taken somewhat off guard and responded awkwardly attempting to dissociate himself from the uploaded pictures. Seeing that Yoo wasn't letting go of the subject matter, Yoon came around to admitting the authenticity of the photos attributing them to an unnamed employee in his campaign. He said the pictures were uploaded in an office "near his apartment," and that his wife Kim Gun-hee participated in the process. He admitted that he had approved of the photos being uploaded on his instagram account. Yoon claimed that the intent of the photos being posted is being distorted by critics. Clearly on the defensive, Yoon chose to double down on the gaffe which had brought on the political demand for his apology and then its apparent sardonic and disrespectful repudiation by uploading the related photos. Yoon, digging himself into a deeper hole, insisted that his original gaffe concerning dictator Chun Du-won's martial law regime was correct, and that Chun ruled South Korea wisely and that this was widely understood, even in Honam, the region where the Kwangju uprising and massacre took place.

In his most recent public statements, Yoon has apparently acknowledged his culpability, admitting posting the photos was his fault. His campaign office floated the idea that Yoon would go to Kwangju next month to apologize formally and make a visit to the memorial site where those killed during the 5.18 uprising against martial law were buried. The schedule for Yoon's visit wouldn't be confirmed until November 5. One observer questioned what difference this would make in Yoon's campaign when the primary would be effectively over November 5 with final selection of the People's Party presidential candidate taking place that day.

Someone keeping track noted 14 major gaffes by Yoon since he announced his candidacy June 29. Among the more memorable ones, were his comments that Fukishima never blew up; that it's okay to work 120 hours a week; and that adulterated goods shouldn't be regulated or poorer people wouldn't have lower price choices in the market place. In another gaffe, Yoon, used a Japanese yakasu term for "turf" or dominion used by thugs extorting business owners to refer to the Honam region as "his." Critics contended Yoon's expression was akin to using the "F" word in a formal setting. Further, critics felt Yoon's use of the gangland expression, reflected on his demonstrated character as "boss," when serving as Prosecutor General, willing to use state power arbitrarily against his rivals and critics. Yoon on another occasion denigrated concerns about pay for manual laborers, saying that manual labor was something from Africa. Yoon also made televised appearances recently over a three day period with the Chinese character for king ( 王 ) marked on the palm of his hand, which raised questions again about his possible shamanistic beliefs, and whether he washes his hands.

One interesting development in the online investigations and discussions of Yoon's latest public blunders, is that the photo of Yoon's dog being offered an apple, on close examination, reveals that the photo was taken most likely, in the Kobana Kontents office of Yoon's wife. The fixtures and dog's cushion are virtually identical. Also intriguing is that although Yoon publicly had denied direct participation in staging the photo, the reflection in a closeup of the pet's eye show's a man slouching in a sitting position with his legs splayed apart in the rude posture which is virtually a Yoon trademark. It should be noted that sending an apple or a picture of an apple as representation of an apology for some minor slight among friends is a practice now among young South Koreans. That Yoon would acquiesce to such an inappropriate gimmick with respect to comments he made concerning the mass murders and other criminal acts by Chun Doo-hwan, shows how poor his judgement is and who would really be running the administration, namely, Kim Gun-hee, his wife. Or would it be her Shaman? All this painfully similar in nature to the relationship between Choi Soon-sil and former President Park Geun-hye, now in prison.

A Korea Gallup poll of 1000 persons over age 18 during period October 19 thru 21 showed the democratic presidential candidate, Lee Jae-myung, leading Yoon Seok-yeol in a hypothetical presidential matchup, 34 to 31 percent. Range of error plus or minus 3.1 percent. So Yoon appears to have lost some support.

South Korea- Lee Nak-yon suffers early primary loss to progressive candidate Lee Jae-myung

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 9.5.21) Democratic presidential candidate contender Lee Nak-yon suffers serious loss to Lee Jae-myung in early Sep. 4-5 regional primaries by a 2-1 margin. Lee Jae-myung, far left, 54.81 percent; Lee Nak-yon, second from left, 27.41 percent. Jung Sye-kyun, (3rd place) 7.84 percent; Chu Mi-ae (4th) 6.67 percent.

Lee Nak-yon's greatest blunders? Stalling the reforms sought by the candlelight revolution when they put the democratic party in power after the impeachment of Park Geun-hye. Lee Nak-yon served as Prime Minister to Moon Jae-in and later as Democratic Party leader in the National Assembly. He is perceived as having stonewalled prosecution and press reforms sought by democratic voters. Worse, he later called for the pardon of corrupt conservative authoritarian presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak. Additionally, he was critical of former Justice Minister Cho Guk who led the reform movement. Cho Guk, as a consequence, found himself and his family persecuted in the courts by the dictator in waiting, conservative presidential candidate, Yoon Seok-yeol. Yoon was Prosecutor General at the time.

Lee Nak-yon also failed to support former Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae, (fourth place at 6.67 percent) who replaced Cho Guk in the office, in her efforts to restrain out of control Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol's abuse of power and her efforts to discipline him, and remove his supporters from prosecution offices across South Korea. Lee Nak-yon's true colors exposed, his public support has plummeted. Virtually half of Lee Nak-yon's supporters say they will vote conservative if he is not the democratic candidate for president in the coming March 2022 election. These conservatively oriented Lee Nak yon supporters are probably about 5 percent of the general electorate at this point as his support has dropped to about 9-10 percent of the overall electorate.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 9.5.21) Democratic Party presidential candidate primary schedule in South Korea. Daejeon/Chungnam 9.4: Sejong/Chungbuk 9.5; Daegu/Gyeongbuk 9.11; Gangwon 9.12; Gwangju/Cheonam 9.25 ; Cheonbuk 9.26; 10.1 Cheju; 10.2 Busan, Ulsan/Gyeongnam; 10.3 Inchon; 10.10 Seoul.

South Korea Democratic Primary Schedule

( Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 8.16) New democratic party primary campaign schedule dates: Sep. 4, circuit primary campaigns begin (previously Aug. 7); Sep. 12, party members caste votes in first round primary candidate selection; Oct. 3, second round balloting for presidential candidate; Oct. 10, final voting to confirm democratic party presidential candidate's nomination; Announcement mid-October.

( Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 8.16) South Korea's 2022 presidential election schedule. In 2022, official registration of presidential candidates begins Feburary 13-14, with the election activity officially beginning Feb. 15; Overseas balloting period February 23-28; Early ballots March 4-5 and final ballots March 9, 2022.

The important dates for the South Korean primary selection process for presidential candidates from an earlier 언론알아야바 video report had outdated information concerning the democratic party primary process. These two graphics are posted as an update/correction. These two graphics from the same source, are taken from the 언알바 youtube video on August 16. The changes in the schedule were secured by supporters of Lee Nak-won and Chung Sye-kyun. It was believed that a four to five week delay in the primary selection schedule would give them some more time to catch up to Lee Jae-myung, the leading democratic candidate and Gyeonggido governor. Lee Nak-yon is 12.9 percent in national polling, and Chung is less than 2 percent.

It was noted in the same program that Lee JM has a distinct advantage in the electoral race as the current governor of Gyeonggido which has more democratic voters than any other jurisdiction in South Korea. Competitors are unlikely to make inroads criticizing Lee JM's proposals for universal income payments to compensate individuals for the adverse economic effects of the pandemic. The reactionary ideological response from the right, that it isn't the government's responsibility to support the people economically is likely to fall flat. The "where are you going to get the money arguments" of centrist democrats like Lee Nak-yon aren't gaining much traction with democrats under the circumstances. As a governor, Lee Jae-myung can get the money right out of his own provincial administration budget and distribute it, while others carp about austerity. Another positive attribute of Lee JM's approach is that it is practical, and demonstrates a commitment to the public welfare and economic issues. Thus the focus of the election is directed away from a negative mandate on the Moon Jae-in administration, where centrists and conservatives without a policy program would like it to stay.

The source 언론알아야바 also noted the public policy discussion scheduled by the conservative People's Power Party for its presidential candidates on September 17 and 25th. Yoon's camp had indicated a reluctance to participate with a large slate of minor candidates. Hong Joong-pyo has criticized Yoon for his reluctance to debate characterizing it as fear. In another provocative and politically significant move, Hong has gone beyond general criticism of Yoon's politicization of the Prosecutor General's office, to a specific attack on the corruption of the law enforcement processes concerning his mother in law, who was recently convicted of fraud in the operation of a medical facility. Hong specifically raised the issue of whether or not there was political interference in the earlier investigation of the case when a nolle prosse determination was made concerning Yoon's mother in law, Choi. Recently, mother in law Choi, was found guilty at her first trial and sentenced to three years in prison. So Hong has taken the initiative here, firing a shot across the bow, indicating that he accepts the allegations of progressives on the left, and the prosecution reform faction of the democratic party, that Yoon compromised his former public office and the rule of law in South Korea. This is Yoon's Achilles' heel. One could argue, that Yoon has to become president in order to protect himself and his family from further investigations and prosecution. There are currently several corruption investigations pending against Yoon, his wife, and mother in law. The conservative mainstream media is avoiding this subject matter as much as possible. They are stake holders in the Yoon political scheme referred to commonly as press-prosecution collusion (to protect corrupt special interests).

If matters related to the alleged corruption of the prosecutors' offices and Yoon's family are fair targets in a political campaign how will the press avoid the issue when they are debated on a televised debate? How will they avoid the issue if Yoon declines to participate? Hong wins either way, and democrats benefit from conservative infighting. Will Hong's scathing commentary on Yoon be limited to Facebook posts and social media? Checking the English language media last night, the internal fissure in the PPP was described as a candidate Yoon- Party Leader Lee feud. This was covered in our prior post, but the Hong- Yong rivalry is likely to be more damaging, as Hong is an experienced and able campaigner.

The above supplements my earlier August 14 polling update at the link below which has more discussion about the early presidential campaign maneuvering in South Korea:


Originally a friend recommended that I post what I translated

Originally, i did it to learn the language. I translated news articles mostly. She encouraged me to write down what i was doing. I listened to songs and memorized them when I was a driver to pass the time. Eventually i realized how beautiful some of the song lyrics were and began writing them down. When my friend died I translated this song:

친구여 조용필 가사 Dear Friend, by Jo Yong Pil, lyrics

꿈은 A dream
하늘에서 잠자고 In the sky sleeping
추억은 Memory
구름따라 흐르고 flows following clouds
친구여 Dear Friend
모습은 어딜 갔나 Your visage, where has it gone?
그리운 친구여 Missed dear friend.

옛 일 Past days
생각이 날때마다 each time those thoughts arise,
우리 our
잃어버린 정 찾아 lost affection, I seek
친구여 Dear Friend
꿈속에서 만날까 in a dream shall we meet
조용히 눈을 감네 Quietly, close our eyes

슬픔도 기쁨도 Sadness and Joy too,
외로움도 함께 했지 loneliness too, we had together.
부푼 꿈 을 안고 Risen dream, embrace
내일을 다짐하던 Tomorrow, our promised
우리 굳 센 약속 어디에 Our sure strong pledge where is it?

꿈은 The dream
하늘에서 잠자고 Sleeps in heaven
추억은 The memory
구름따라 흐르고 flows following clouds
친구여 Dear Friend
모습은 어딜 갔나 Your visage, where has it gone?
그리운 친구여 Missed dear friend.

If overtaken by events and I stop to listen to or work on some translation of a beautiful song, it restores my sense of balance and well being. I know poetry or other great art can do the same. These are not my lyrics, but I want others to experience the beauty of these songs.

South Korea: Current presidential candidate standings, as of August 5.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 8.8) Joongang survey of public opinion from 8.3 to 8.5: percent approval of leading presidential candidates: Lee Jae-myung, governor of Gyeonggido, democratic party, 25% ; Yoon Seok-yeol, former Prosecutor General, People's Power Party, 19 %; Lee Nak-yon, national assembly member, former prime minister and party leader, democratic party, 11 % ; and Choi Jae-hyung, former government audit agency head, PPP, 4%.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 8.8) This line chart follows chronologically from Feb 2021 week one (left) fitness for presidential office opinions by percentage surveyed by NBS up to the first week in August (right) for the top three candidates: Lee Jae-myung, democratic party (top blue line, 28% ); Yoon Seok-yeol, PPP candidate (red line, 22% ); and Lee Nak-yon, democratic party (blue-green line, 10% ).

Lee Jae-myung, is the popular democratic governor of Gyeonggi Do (province) a major suburban area around Seoul. He is regarded as the progressive candidate. Yoon Seok-yeol is the conservative independent candidate who just joined the PPP conservative opposition party. Yoon is a former prosecutor whose family is embroiled in controversy and legal investigations. It is widely believed by critics in social media that Yoon and his family are corrupt. His supporters claim that the allegations against him, his spouse and mother in law are politically motivated and unproven. The conservative mainstream media support him. His mother in law was recently sent to prison for a medical benefits fraud scheme after her first trial. The decision is being appealed.

Lee Nak-yon, is the centrist democratic candidate whose criticisms of former democratic Justice Minister Cho Guk (now subject to prosecution initiated and allegedly politically motivated by Yoon) has eroded his support somewhat inside the democratic party. Lee Nak-yon's expressed desire to pardon former presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, has also lessened his popular support recently. Choi Jae-hyung, who like Yoon Seok-yeol, held an important post in the democratic Moon Jae-in administration, is regarded as something as an opportunist now posing as a rock ribbed conservative. The presence of Yoon and Choi as PPP candidates is believed to reflect a weak conservative field of candidates. Party primaries initial and secondary, and party designations of their respective candidates have not taken place and won't be completed till fall 2021. The presidential election is scheduled for March 6, 2022.

죽창가 Bamboo Spear Song

The original poem is attributed to Kim Nam-ju ( 故 김남주 시인 ) according to an article in the International Newspaper July 16, 2019 shortly after the final episode of the dramatic series Noktu Flower ( 녹두꽃 ). Noktu Flower portrays the Tonghak reform movement in late 19th Century Chosun.*

* 조국 게재한 죽창가 가사 내용은? 정치권 의견 분분, 이영실 기자, 7.16.19 국제신문 ; http://www.kookje.co.kr/news2011/asp/newsbody.asp?code=0100&key=20190716.99099007677

This mountain village, soar together!
Let's become a flower. The flower
nurtured by falling tears and broken feet
let's become noktu flowers

This mountain valley all together take flight!
Lets become a bird. A bird
To north and south it cries,
Let's become the flying blue bird

This field alight together
Let's become a fire. A fire
burning plains lighting the darkness
Let's become the field afire

Let's do that, it's time for that
One more time, this village
Let's become a rebellion
Green pine green bamboo fixed in our heart
Let's become the bamboo spear

( 죽창가 / 김남주 시, 김경주 곡 )

I've taken a liberal rather than literal interpretation in order to convey the aesthetic and emotional appeal of the original in hangul. From watching the Noktu Flower drama series and learning from other sources about the period I tried to capture the spirit of the uprising's Bamboo Spear Hymn. The poem by Kim Nam-ju won a literary award in 1989. At some earlier point it was set to music by Kim Kyeong-ju, and sung by college students during the uprising against the Chun Du-hwan dictatorship. A song with similar imagery actually arose during the Tonghak rebellion period. There is an academic argument about the use of the symbolism of the "blue birds" as compared to the use of the symbol in '새야새야' ( Birds! Birds! )a folk song from the period in which the birds could be interpreted to symbolize invading foreign armies alighting on the mung bean (noktu) fields offending the spirit of the ancestors whose souls reside there to ward off the birds.* The seasonal coming and going of the birds takes a entirely different meaning in The Bamboo Spear Song.

*조국 수석의 '죽창가' 인용, 무엇이 문제란 말인가? 19.07.23 12:01l최종 업데이트 19.07.23 19:05l추준우 ; http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/View/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0002555923

The poem and the song are politically controversial in the early stages of the current South Korean presidential political campaign. It is said by conservatives to represent "harmful" populist nationalism in South Korean politics. There is more on the historical background of the poem in the article at the link below:


Mistranslated doctoral thesis title triggers plagiarism review rocking South Korean politics

Is it hostess "Julie" or "member Yugi?" Only the Kookmin University research ethics committee can decide. Or can it?

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) Kim Geon-hee: I was too busy getting my bachelors, masters, and doctorate to have the time to also work as "Julie."

This sordid episode in ongoing saga of presidential candidate Yoon Seok-yeol's family corruption came to a head when the leading conservative candidate's wife Kim Geon-hee decided to talk to the press about her alleged wrongful acts in the past. Specifically, she decided to publicly address the viral internet rumors that, years ago, she was employed as a hostess at the night club in the Renaissance Ramada Hotel in Seoul. The allegations originated with the independent investigative web site 열린공감TV on youtube.


So Kim chose to defend her reputation publicly by stating in a friendly media interview that allegations about her prior secret life as hostess Julie couldn't be true because she was too busy at the time working on her bachelors, masters, and doctors degrees.

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) Thesis cover page title: Research study concerning online Fortune Contents user satisfaction or dissatisfaction according to member retention or loss. The now infamous "member Yuji" mistranslation is highlighted in the red box for emphasis. The garbled English translation of the title also shows the translator had difficulty with the reversed syntax in the original Korean title.

Unfortunately, one enterprising reporter obtained some documentation related to Kim's alleged doctorate dissertation, the cover of which appears in the image above. The title page of the thesis reveals two things almost instantly upon a cursory look. The first is that the putative author Kim, really had no idea what the paper was about, because she or someone else obviously mistranslated the title into unintelligible nonsense in which the expression "member Yuji" replaces the expression "member retention," in a marketing research study to evaluate the effectiveness of promotional contents by researching the retention or loss of members of an online marketing enterprise. The error appears to be a common one occurring in mechanical translation applications devoid of context knowledge. Observers joke that it must have been google translate. What it implies is that the author had no knowledge of the context of the thesis either. The second obvious implication in the nonsensical thesis title translation is that a doctoral review committee (ethically) could not have possibly let such a gross error pass through it's academic review. To be precise, it raises the issue whether any such review even occurred.

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) The materials concerning the alleged improper research were submitted for ethics review at Kookmin University on July 6. They have 30 days to for the ethics committee to assemble and discuss formation of a preliminary investigation committee (by Aug 5); The preliminary investigation committee has thirty days (by 9.4) to make findings and to decide whether the calling of the main ethics review investigation committee is required. If the main investigation is required by a formal committee, then it must be formed and meet within thirty days (by 10.4); the main committee then has 90 days to make its findings and final recommendation (by 1.2.2022); the University issues a final judgement by 2.2.2022 (required within six months).

Other aspects of the suspicious nature of the thesis involve independent assessments that large portions of the thesis text are plagiarized. Necessarily, Kookmin University was prompted to initiate what appears to be a rather labored and time consuming administrative investigation and review process which includes a preliminary investigation, the formulation a preliminary investigative committee, the report on its findings, and if warranted, the submission of the findings to a formal consideration by a broader academic ethics review committee yet to be formed, and then a final report on its findings and recommendation. The final decision by the university doesn't have to take place until February 2, 2022, approximately one month before the presidential election March 6, 2022. It almost seems as if the entire schedule were formulated with a view toward the electoral process.

One could easily anticipate that the Yoon family will litigate to interpose a legal injunction of the formal academic ethics review proceeding at some point, as a violation of the prospective first lady's constitutional rights. This is what Yoon did to avoid his suspension by the Justice Ministry's committee appointed to investigate his professional misconduct. Between the injunction and Yoon's later resignation as Prosecutor General of South Korea, the disciplinary committee's findings of professional misconduct and sanctions had no effect whatever on Yoon. Yoon resigned ostensibly to comply with the one year cooling off period that some unelected government officials must abide by to qualify to run for elective office. Yoon is currently the leading conservative candidate running for president of South Korea.

I edited out some of the more salacious allegations. The original is here:


(South Korea) President Moon's "coattails" helping democratic candidate Lee Jae-myung

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 7.19) Moon Jae-in's remarkable political resilience demonstrated in July 17-18 Korea Research survey of 1,015 persons commissioned by MBC News. Approval 44.2, disapproval 51.6 percent. The term coattails now being applied to President Moon rather than lame duck.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 7.19) This chart demonstrates the relative support for the presidents of the democratic period in South Korea at the end of the first quarter in the third, fourth, and fifth years in office in their respective 5 year, one term presidencies. Bar graph (left side) From Kim Young-sam, (bottom, earliest), up to (top) Moon Jae-in, the current president of South Korea. The line graph (right) reflects support for each president over their respective five year terms comparatively. In the current period of the 5th year, Moon 43%, Park Geun-hye, impeached, Lee Myung-bak 25%, No Mu-hyun 16%, Kim Dae-jung 33%, and Kim Young-sam 14%. The South Korea Gallup poll is credited as the source. Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae-jung is the only former president with numbers nearly as strong as current democratic President of South Korea Moon Jae-in. Kim Dae-jung's presidency was followed by that of another democratic party president, No Mu-hyun.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 7.19) Presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung, democratic Gyeonggido governor, 27.1 percent; Yoon Seok-yeol, unaffiliated conservative candidate, 19.7 percent; and Lee Nak-yeon, former democratic prime minister, 14.6 percent.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 7.19) Lee Jae-myung, leading democratic party candidate for president at this point versus the three currently declared conservative candidates for president: against Yoon Seok-yeol, 44.0% over 34.9% (top line); against Choi Jae-hyung (middle) 46.8% over 25.3% ; and against Hong Chun-pyo (bottom) 49.1% over 23.9%. About 3 percent of the respondents wouldn't vote for these candidates and from about 18 to 25 percent of those queried either didn't know, were unavailable or didn't answer. It's early in the election campaign cycle, but if these numbers held up, and Lee Jae-myung wins the democratic primary, he would win the presidency in the March 2022.

(Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 youtube 7.19) Moon Jae-in and Lee Jae-myung at the "candlelight revolution" demonstrations in early 2017 calling for the impeachment of then conservative President Park Geun-hye. The caption under the photo says "following the precedent." Millions of ordinary South Koreans turned out for these demonstrations against corruption and authoritarianism in the conservative administration at that time. It was this movement that resulted in Moon Jae-in's election as President of South Korea. Thus far, he has proved resilient in the face of consistent criticism in conservative media in South Korea, and the US and Japan. Ironically, the placards in the photo calling for impeachment say "by way of the people's power, impeach." The current conservative party opposition in South Korea uses the term "people's power" in the most recently adopted name for their party, People's Power Party.

Recent South Korean Presidential Campaign Polling results

(Source- 알리미 황희두 7.3 youtube) 윤석열 지지율 폭락!! etc. Yoon Seok-yeol's support suddenly drops!

This poll was taken after Yoon's June 29 announcement which I described briefly in an earlier post. It is not clear if the poll was finished before Yoon's mother in law's conviction for medical fraud on July 2. The first bar graph shows that Lee Jae-myung, the leading democratic party candidate, has taken an 8 point lead over Yoon Seok-yeol, the leading conservative candidate in a head to head survey. The second graph above shows the results in a theoretical 3 way contest with Yoon running an independent candidacy outside the main conservative party (the so called People's Power Party). In this hypothetical three way contest a nominal PPP candidate would take 9.5 percent of votes reducing Yoon's support to 29.8 percent. Obviously there are all the caveats concerning polls, margins of error, and making inferences so early in the campaign season.

( Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 7.3 youtube) '리서치뷰'의 충격 여론조사 발표!! etc. Research Review shocking public opinion survey results...

A similar poll examination of a hypothetical three way race among conservative Yoon, and the two leading democratic party candidates is show above. This puts Lee Jae-myung, the leading democratic candidate for president in a dead heat against Yoon Seok-yeol, with spoiler democrat Lee Nak-yeon in a distant third place at 9.5 percent. Lee Nak-yeon's campaign is in distress since he recommended that former conservative presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak, both currently in prison for corruption be pardoned for their crimes. His support plummeted precipitously after that.

( Source- 언론 알아야 바꾼다 7.3 youtube) Lee Nak-yeon, "I was against the appointment of Cho Guk (as Justice Minister)."

Lee Nak-yeon appeared with other democratic hopefuls in a democratic candidates meet the public interview session on national television yesterday. Lee Nak-yeon and the other minor candidates for president in the democratic party spent their time nitpicking at the leading candidate Lee Jae-myung, the current governor of Gyeonggido, a large province surrounding Seoul. Lee "JM" is somewhat progressive with a proposal for universal basic income and a strong management style regarding economic challenges facing his province and the country. With the exception of the former Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae, the other democratic candidates don't present strong policy initiatives consistent with the current Moon administration's approach.

Alternatively, Lee Nak-yeon as shown by the graphic was distinguished by the poor decision to shoot himself in the foot by criticizing the Moon administration's appointment of Cho Guk as Justice Minister, which has been a debacle, since the indictment and arrest of his wife, and the related indictment of himself, both of which were allegedly ordered by Yoon personally, when he was the Prosecutor General. Many democratic party rank and file members regard the Cho Guk indictments and trials as a politically motivated witch hunt, because Cho was the point man for the long standing democratic party's desire to reform the administration of justice in South Korea.

Lee Nak-yeon claimed in the televised interview, that he (as prime minister) advised the Moon administration two days before Cho Guk's appointment that he was against it. This public admission by Lee Nak-yeon is sure to be viewed very unfavorably by many democrats and will probably reduce his support further. Cho Guk was forced to resign a little more than a month into his appointment by the political uproar concerning the alleged corruption of his wife and himself. He was portrayed, by the opposition party and the conservative press, as a hypocrite as a reform minded politician. It also needs to be observed that Cho Guk would no doubt be a leading presidential candidate today but for these events. He and his spouse, who was sentenced to four years imprisonment in a trial of dubious fairness, are still embroiled in criminal litigation. His wife is in prison pending the results of her trial on review. Cho Guk's recent memoir of his experience being run out of office and of the politically motivated persecution of his family is currently a best seller in South Korea.

Cho's successor as justice minister, Chu Mi-ae, appears to have orchestrated a solid personnel strategy of dismantling Yoon Seok-yeol's politically oriented machine inside the prosecution offices nationally. Yoon has been tainted with a second disciplinary committee decision finding he breached his professional duties as prosecutor while in office. This measure was directed by Chu Mi-ae and unfortunately squelched (wrongly as it turns out) by an administrative review court temporary injunction. Recently, the Constitutional Court rejected Yoon's appeal of the judgement by the disciplinary committee, but he had already left the Prosecutor General position to run for president. Chu Mi-ae is regarded as having turned in a consistent and principle driven performance at the televised public interview, having maintained her commitment to carry out the necessary political reforms to save the South Korean democracy from corruption and authoritarian practices. Ironically, Yoon had claimed this was his intent in declaring himself a presidential candidate on June 29, to prevent the democratic threat to democracy and stop dictatorship in the making in a ridiculous hyperbole projecting his own authoritarian characteristics onto the democratic administration. Yoon's drive to become President of the Korean Republic has the appearance of a desperate effort to stop further criminal investigations of his family and himself.

Kim Hong-do, Korea's Renaissance Painter

(Source- KBS역사저널 그날, youtube, Sept 25, 2020; KBS 한국사전 조선의 르네상스를 그리다, 단원 김홍도 / KBS 2007.10.13 방송 )

This is portion of a hanging scroll in the Yongjusa temple in Hwaseong. Kim Hong-do was an artist employed by the court of King Jeongjo. The temple's famous scroll hanging painting by Kim Hong-do has Seokamoni in center, Amitaba to the right and Bhaisajyaguru to the left. Kim and his artists worked on this Buddhist image hanging scroll for 216 days. Prior to painting this scroll, Jeongjo had sent Kim Hong-do and another artist to Beijing to seek out according to his interest art techniques that could be brought back to Korea. There Kim was exposed to currently unknown western art works on display in a protestant church. Kim adopted the techniques he observed there and later used at Yongjusa. In particular he observed and mastered the techniques of perspective and chiaroscuro from the western renaissance style he observed in religious art to give his paintings a life like quality previously unseen in Korea. He is therefore known as Korea's "renaissance artist."

Yongjoosa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is located in on the slopes of Hwasan in Taean-eup, Hwaseong, in the province of Gyeonggi, South Korea. The temple's name means "dragon jewel temple."
The temple was initially established in 854 AD, under the name Garyangsa. It was expanded in the 10th century. It was rebuilt in the late 18th century under the orders of Jeongjo in honor of his deceased father, Prince Sado. This is one of few cases where the Joseon royal house supported Buddhism directly. At this time the temple changed to its current name.


Kim Hong-do was the official court painter for King Jeongjo of Chosun. His paintings of formal court occasions are treasured records of formal Chosun rites, customs and organization. The most famous depictions are the paintings of a procession outside the palace to Hwaseong where Joengjo's father Prince Sado was buried. This is the famous Panchado recording the hwigwoe of King Seongjo's mother (Prince Sado's widow) on the occassion of her sixtieth birthday. The size and order of the procession depict the power of the royal family for the public to see. The procession took place in February 1795. It was planned for two years by King Seongjo. The official record of the royal procession was printed with metal movable type and recorded in multiple volumes. It was completed in 1797. Six thousand persons and 1400 horses were required for the procession. The train of participants extended for four kilometers. Kim Hong-do supervised the royal court's team of artists painting the procession The Panchado depicting the composition of the procession in its entirety is 15 meters long. The court procession is composed of nobles, soldiers, scholars, and civil servants. The royal procession proceeded to the new Hwaseong fortress built in Suwon traveling through the countryside. After his arrival there, Jeongjo excersized the five thousand soldiers of his guard day and night at Hwaseong in a demonstration of his power, to the nobles of the Noron faction who had intrigued against his father. Having restored his father's prestige, Jeongjo began his return to Seoul. This is just a small portion of the procession painting:

(Source- 이명관 기자 mklee kyeonggi.com, 2015. 11. 03 )

Here are other paintings of the Hwigwoe from folding screens:

(Source- KBS역사저널 그날, youtube, Sept 25, 2020; KBS 한국사전 조선의 르네상스를 그리다, 단원 김홍도 / KBS 2007.10.13 방송 ) The procession crossing the Han River at Noryangjin. This is just a part of one panel of a four panel folding screen.

(Source- KBS역사저널 그날, youtube, Sept 25, 2020) KBS 한국사전 조선의 르네상스를 그리다, 단원 김홍도 / KBS 2007.10.13 방송 )
Temporary palace at Siheung on the road back to Hanyang (Seoul). This image is part of one panel in an eight panel folding screen depicting the activities of the procession group at Siheung. The royal court on the road could hear grievances of the people, dispense surplus food, and entertain the elderly from village communities.

Below are two pictures are from Kim Hong-do's later life after the death of his sponsor King Jeongjo. Kim is famous for his lifelike portrayals of everyday Koreans of his time in the activities of daily life.

(Source- KBS역사저널 그날, youtube Sept 25, 2020 )

(Source- KBS역사저널 그날, youtube Sept 25, 2020 )

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