This post is about a week late but I’ve been busy entertaining my awesome Canadian friends here in Seoul the past week 🙂
Anyway, as anyone who follows international news will already know, South Korea elected Moon Jae In as their new president following the scandalous impeachment of former president Park. Moon was the favorite from day one, and his closest competitors were never really close. Most Koreans are “over the moon” (pun very much intended) and proud that months of persistent demonstrations have led to a change of regime in this relatively new democracy.
As an outsider living in Korea, it’s been a super interesting journey to follow. I’ve been to Gwanghwamun Square on several Saturdays during the fall and the winter, and it was just amazing to see how Koreans would gather and protest quietly against the corruption and wrongdoings of former president Park. This is truly a testament to Koreans’ desire to redefine their democracy. Park gravely undermined this democracy but in the wake of her impeachment and removal from the Blue House, the interest for political matters soared and the voter turnout at the presidential election last Tuesday was a record high.
President Moon has promised to restore the transparency in the Korean government. He advocates dialogue with North Korea, raising the minimum wage, and greatly reducing the privileges granted to major Korean conglomerates. On the negative side, he opposes same-sex marriage, but I guess you can’t have it all.
Personally, I’m optimistic for the future of my chosen home country. With a background as a human rights lawyer, Moon appears to be both competent and likeable, and several international reporters have focused on the fact that he was very good looking when he was younger, and still seems to surround himself with beautiful people. His cabinet has already been dubbed “the handsome brigade”, and most recently, his bodyguard Choi Young Jae landed in the international media’s spotlight, where he was praised for his masculine jaw and smoldering eyes. Twitter went crazy, and I admit that I too may just have fangirled a
little bit great deal over him with my Korean girlfriends. Anyway, judge for yourselves (or read more about him here). Enjoy!