Main op­po­si­tion chief Hwang apol­o­gizes over Moon satire

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Park Ji-won, Kim Yoo-chul jw­park,[email protected]­re­

The chief of the main op­po­si­tion Lib­erty Korea Party (LKP) has is­sued an apol­ogy over its de­ci­sion to up­load an an­i­mated clip sat­i­riz­ing Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in on its of­fi­cial YouTube chan­nel.

“The LKP de­cided to delist Pres­i­dent Moon’s an­i­mated satire from the party’s main web­page and of­fi­cial YouTube chan­nel in the wake of the pass­ing of Pres­i­dent Moon’s mother,” LKP chief Hwang Kyo-ahn said last week.

The short video satir­i­cally por­trayed the Pres­i­dent, his han­dling of state af­fairs and con­tro­ver­sial ap­point­ments of se­nior Cab­i­net mem­bers.

It fea­tured Moon chang­ing into “in­vis­i­ble clothes” — a jacket dubbed “se­cu­rity,” pants la­beled “econ­omy” and a tie de­scribed as “per­son­nel ap­point­ment” — just like the em­peror from Dan­ish au­thor Hans Chris­tian An­der­sen’s 1837 story ti­tled “The Em­peror’s New Clothes.”

The cli­max of the an­i­mated satire shows a hand­cuffed for­mer Jus­tice Min­is­ter Cho Kuk be­ing ar­rested, with the Pres­i­dent ad­mir­ing the hand­cuffs.

The video clip has be­come a source of po­lit­i­cal de­bate. Af­ter its re­lease, Cheong Wa Dae spokesper­son Ko Min-jung told re­porters that the pres­i­den­tial of­fice was dis­ap­pointed in the op­po­si­tion party’s “thought­less de­ci­sion,” say­ing the clip would “se­ri­ously hurt” na­tional dig­nity.

The rul­ing Demo­cratic Party of Korea (DPK) im­me­di­ately asked the LKP to re­move the video.

“The clip was filled with shock­ing con­tent in­clud­ing mock­ery and con­dem­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Moon, which is in­tol­er­a­ble,” DPK spokesman Lee Hae-sik told re­porters, urg­ing the LKP to take “nec­es­sary mea­sures” and is­sue a pub­lic apol­ogy. But Hwang claimed his party just de­scribed what it thinks of the in­cum­bent South Korean leader and asked Moon and the rul­ing party to guar­an­tee free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion.

The mi­nor op­po­si­tion Bare­un­mi­rae Party joined with the rul­ing party to crit­i­cize the LKP, call­ing the satire “dis­grace­ful.” It had also crit­i­cized the DPK re­gard­ing an ear­lier ex­hibit man­aged by one of its rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2017 that dis­played a par­ody of Edouard Manet’s pop­u­lar paint­ing “Olympia” fea­tur­ing a nude woman, onto which the face of con­ser­va­tive then Pres­i­dent Park Ge­un­hye was added.

Some law­mak­ers claim the cul­ture of mock­ery should be rooted out of the po­lit­i­cal scene and politi­cians should re­flect on them­selves.

Stress­ing that the habit of con­tin­u­ing cheap sar­casm against each other should be cor­rected, Rep. Kim Su-min of the BMP said: “Sat­i­riz­ing any pres­i­dent of Korea, who is be­ing sup­ported or not, in an ugly way is not de­sir­able.” The ap­proval rate of the DPK re­mained at 41 per­cent in the first week of Novem­ber.

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