South Korea’s presidential election is viewed by many on social media as “a battle between ‘a thug’ and ‘a fool’,” Andrew Salmon said in Asia Times (Hong Kong). That’s not an unfair description. South Korea faces many fundamental challenges: a cost-of-living crisis, a “silver-fast” population, an unremarkable neighbor to the north. But it does not have to be a sober discussion of the problems. Instead, it features a campaign dominated by personalities and by mud sliding. In one corner is Lee Jae-myung of Korea’s ruling center-left Democratic Party – a “thug”. His campaign began with an apology for a leaked phone recording of a family row filled with profanity; He faces questions about a suspected land development deal and alleged mafia ties. In the other corner is the “idiot”, Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative People’s Power Party. As a former prosecutor new to politics, Yoon often appears unconcerned. His apparent belief in “odd practices like anal acupuncture and shamanism” drew much derision. But when voters went to the polls last week, it was Yoon who won, beating Lee by 0.73% – the lowest ever in an election in South Korea.
Yoon, 61, who has made a name for herself as a prosecutor, said The Korea Herald (Seoul). He oversaw active investigations into power players from both main parties: he got former conservative president Park Geun-hye impeached and jailed. As a candidate for the People’s Power Party, he captivated voters with the promise of a presidency defined by anti-corruption, meritocracy and the rule of law. Yoon also doesn’t stop flirting with Korea’s “Idaenam”: conservative young men with negative views on feminism, Ahn Young-chun said in Hankyoreh (Seoul). He pledged to close the ministry for gender equality, denied the existence of structural inequality in the face of overwhelming evidence, and blamed feminism for the low birth rate.
Yoon’s narrow win shows how angry and polarized south Korea Steven Borowiec says in Nikkei Asia (Tokyo) – on issues of culture war, but also on economics. House prices and the cost of living are rising. Even the country’s effective management of Covid is questioned by the increase in cases. Yoon will not find management easy: his opponents have a parliamentary majority after winning the 2020 parliamentary elections. That’s why he should take a more conciliatory tone. award, Kim Sang-woo said in Korea Times (Seoul). This election is considered by many to be South Korea’s “most uncomfortable” ever. Now, the wound healing is up to Yoon.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/asia-pacific/956131/a-gutter-fight-south-koreas-election-plumbs-new-depths A ‘war in the gutter’: South Korea’s election falls to a new depth