Not a question of privacyMedia reports that President Park Geun-hye had invited a hairdresser to the Blue House to have her hair done while 315 lives were at stake in a sinking ferry on April 16, 2014 is horrifyingly shocking.
The report claimed that 90 minutes were spent on hair styling, and while the Blue House admitted to Park’s hair appointment, it insisted that it only took 20 minutes. One broadcaster reported that Park did her hair intentionally to make her look fatigued when she arrived at the scene of crisis management headquarters at 5:15 p.m. Clearly the president and her aides had their priorities mixed.
The foundation of the doubts around the president stems from the lack of transparency in her governance style. Park was mysteriously absent for seven hours during the Sewol ferry crisis, and yet remains silent. The president’s schedule is public and an extension of governance. But her aides merely gave out fractional explanations. This is an act of clear disregard for the people and cannot be tolerated in a democratic state.
The ambiguity of the Blue House has aggravated suspicion over the seven hour hiatus in state leadership during a time of crisis. Because of unclear explanations, suspicions and distrust have built up. Rumors are rampant. Some claim the president had a secret affair, administered a secret shamanism ritual, or had a makeover on her face. The rumor mill is at work because the Blue House responded poorly.
The fact that it responded that the hairstyling took up 20 minutes not 90 minutes as claimed by a media report is proof that the Blue House was well aware of her whereabouts and deeds during the president’s questionable seven-hour disappearance. The president should speak for herself. She would place herself in a bigger hot seat if she claims she has right to keep her privacy. We must stop the vain presumptions about the seven-hour mystery. The only way to do so is for the president to confess honestly to the people.
JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 8, Page 30
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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