Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaking News: Park Geun-hye Wins South Korea's Election

*** EMBARGOED UNTIL 23:00 19 DECEMBER 2012 ***

Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the strong and popular late president-for-life General Park Chung-hee, has won South Korea's presidential election by a clear margin [enter result] after a campaign in which voters firmly rejected Moon Jae-in, the son of North Korean immigrants who sought to seize the highest office in the land despite this disability and potentially conflicted loyalty.

[insert picture of '문제' as a loser looking defeated and alone]

With scientists proving that attention-spans in Korea's high-tech society are getting shorter [ask Professor Kim at SIU to create some supporting statistics and add 350,000 to his account], voters who were vaguely bored and dissatisfied with President Lee Myung-bak's policies towards the North had sought a more measured approach with South Korea's belligerent nuclear neighbor. Some on the left have even accused Lee's hard line views of causing a chill in North-South relations, resulting in record-breaking low temperatures across Seoul during the last week and the deaths of dozens of people.

Boredom with Lee's otherwise popular hard-line stance has required Park to portray a more centrist position in order to take more votes and ultimately do what is best for the people. However, during the campaign clear differences emerged between her suggested policies and those of her rival Moon – who proposed a successor to the failed 1998-2008 'Sunshine Policy', which during the campaign became known as the 'Moonshine Policy'.

[Add quotes from Park's victory speech 'reinterpreting' her election promises and backing away from engagement with North Korea].

But while Moon and the ultra-left UPP candidate Lee Jung-hee tried to demonstrate their North Korean credentials, Pyongyang dramatically voted its absentee ballot in South Korea's election by firing a missile last week aimed at ensuring a Park victory, shocking those on the left. However, Moon and Lee had failed to understand that the election of a dictator's daughter in the South would help legitimize the appointment of a dictator's son in North Korean society, while providing an easier rhetorical narrative with domestic audiences. [Link to story: North Korea Asks Moon to Return Home After Election Defeat].

Moon had also proposed an "Economic democratization" plan, in which the economy would be 'democratized' in some way to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-mores in South Korea, but Park stole his momentum and demonstrated her common touch when she recognized the plan's merits, agreeing that in future money should be seen as a democratic voting mechanism in which people use it to exercise choices which should then be respected by the minority.

The campaign had been among the most dramatic in recent memory, with the right-wing Park facing several left-wing candidates whose naturally disagreeable nature meant they couldn't agree on anything, including fielding a unified candidate. The left's problems came to a head when Ahn Cheol-soo, the anti-virus entrepreneur who had used his inside knowledge to build a viral campaign among the young, withdrew from the race after Moon refused to yield to his candidacy. Ahn had correctly predicted that Moon would ultimately lose the election to Park because he wasn't interesting enough. In addition to his flamboyant entrepreneurial background, Ahn has been a medical doctor, a university professor and a future philanthropist, in addition to starring in The Hangover series of movies and TV's Community under a stage name.

In a desperate attempt to 'drama-up' his campaign, Moon then camped outside Ahn's house begging for an endorsement before later conducting a second flash-mob outside the apartment of a young woman employed as a secretary at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), who Moon accused of posting anti-Moon messages on the Korean Internet. But outing someone whose job mainly consisted of making coffee played badly in a nation where there are now so many coffee shops that one of Korea's largest chains, Angel-in-Us, had to recently announce the opening of a new coffee shop in the toilet of one of its existing coffee shops. Having been exposed, the young woman is now on the run from North Korean agents. Voters also felt there was hypocrisy in Moon's outing of a government employee, while refusing to out Park Geun-hye.

Moon has been a proponent of mob-rule throughout his campaign, urging violent attacks against Park and her supporters to prevent her becoming president, stating "If you don't rebuke them, the wrongs will continue. It is time to be harsh and pick up the rod to beat them." But Moon's pro-violence against women message appears to have been a political misjudgment; it was welcomed by many Korean men but statistics clearly show that men who beat their wives - especially with blunt objects - typically vote for right-wing parties and are unlikely to switch in this election.

The bitter and expensive campaign featured several serious accusations of electoral law violations. [List all the accusations against Moon and add an unsourced insinuation of sexual impropriety].

On the eve of the election, a confident Park even sounded her dictator father's battle cry at a news conference, promising to recreate Park Chung-hee's "Let's Live Well" miracle of rapid economic gains coupled with the imprisonment, torture and occasional disappearance of 'North Korean sympathizers'. [Add further reference to Moon Jae-in's North Korean parents and Park Geun-hye's post-victory statement regarding an investigation into the Moon campaign's breaches of electoral law, violent threats, and exposure of the 'NIS employee'].

Related Links
South Koreans vote in tightly fought presidential poll
Dictator’s daughter faces North Korean refugees’ son in close South Korean presidential race
On eve of South Korea vote, Park sounds father's battle cry
North Korea wants Park to become president
NIS accused of anti-Moon campaign
Same goal different solutions on “economic democratization”
Sunshine Policy
Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks

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