A large part of Southern California’s Korean community agreed that the beleaguered South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s apology to the people over the “Choi Soon-shil scandal” is not enough to convince them that she should remain in the job.
However, the politically conservative continued to stress that the country must wait until the end of the investigations to clearly determine the fate of its first female president.
▶“It is clearly not enough”
“My opinion is not much different from the general consensus at the moment in South Korea,” said Church of Peace pastor Ki-dae Kim. “What she said in her second apology to the people was neither sincere nor a chance to identify solutions. She must step down before the country faces an even bigger chaos.”
In opposition to the president, Kim will lead a candlelight protest at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 for Korean immigrants in the U.S. who wish to see President Park resign. The protest will be attended by progressive political groups in the Korean community, said Kim, who added that he expects about 200 people to participate.
“Both President Park and South Korea as a country needed a turning point,” said Kim Yong-hyun, Director of the Korean-American Peace Research Institute. “But she blew that chance. The South Korean people were hoping for a sincere, thorough apology, but it just seems like she doesn’t seem to understand what the people are demanding.”
Kim added, “This is a national emergency. To rectify this, President Park should demote herself and let the congress come up with an alternative plan.”
However, the politically conservative part of the Korean community dismissed the suggestion that President Park must resign, and that her final decision should be made after the police investigations are completed.
▶”Enough is enough”
“Has there ever been a South Korean president who left the post with a clean slate of reputation?” said Cheol-woong Park, chairman of the Green Action Union of the Americas.
“It’s true that President Park has disappointed her supporters and the South Korean people as a whole, but this should not turn into a witch hunt. Korean politicians from both parties must find their composure. The president did made a mistake, but forcing her to resign based on assumptions and rumors is not right.”
South Korean Veterans Association’s western U.S. chapter chairman Jae-gook Wie said: “I don’t see what President Park has done wrong with things related to her duty of leading the South Korean government. It seems like a part of the media and certain politicians are embellishing a group of people who’ve resorted to corruption. A simple solution is to eliminate the people around the president who have been corrupt. To expand this into the president’s responsibility would be wrong. Certain things must remain covered and I would like to continue to support President Park.”
By Byong Il Kim