Park, Moon roll out TV ads showing strengths

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Park, Moon roll out TV ads showing strengths

Presidential candidates from the ruling and opposition parties released new television commercials aiming to win the hearts and minds of voters, with just 21 days remaining before Koreans pick their new chief executive.

The 60-second advertisements are important, as polls showed the ongoing race being very close and a sizeable number of undecided voters who can change the outcome of the Dec. 19 election.

The ruling Saenuri Party’s commercial highlights the visible scar on Park Geun-hye’s face, the result of an injury by an assailant during the 2006 regional election campaign in Seoul.

The ad that started airing on Tuesday zooms in on the scar the Saenuri hopeful still carries on the right side of her face, and conveys her resolve to overcome adversity and dedicate her life to the good of the country.

“Overall, it emphasizes the candidate’s inner strength and devotion to duty,” said Lee Jung-hyun, the communications director for Park’s election camp.

The 60-year-old conservative candidate has never married and is the daughter of late President Park Chung Hee, who is credited with bringing about Korea’s rapid economic growth.

The former chief executive, however, is also blamed for the suppression of democracy during his 18-year rule.

Others said that the ad successfully portrays a strong contender and her proven track record in a leadership position.

Park has been a fixture of local politics for 15 years, and was elected to parliament five times. She led her party twice during this time, and played an instrumental role in preventing the defeat of the conservatives in the face of negative public opinion.

Moon’s commercial, on the other hand, showed the candidate right after he won the Democratic United Party’s presidential nomination. The ad shows his wife ironing his clothes, and Moon practicing his speech and napping at his home.

“The focal point was to say to viewers that the DUP hopeful is an ordinary person and someone that is approachable,” a camp official said.

He added that the commercial sends a message that Moon is the right man to open a new era of change for the country and that he will strive for equality of opportunity, fairness and social justice.

Both campaign teams, meanwhile, claimed their commercial was better received by the public. Park’s aides said they have received a lot of warm encouragement from supporters, while the DUP said its television commercial conveyed Moon’s true image as a leader who will put the people above all else.

The Saenuri Party said the ad will be followed by others that stress Park’s trademark image of keeping her promises, and the need for a woman president to lead the country.


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