A case of compulsive contrarianismRep. Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareunmirae Party raised an issue about President Moon Jae-in’s bodyguard who exposed his gun while guarding the president on a visit to the Chilsung market in Daegu, home to Korean conservatism. “According to presidential security protocol, a gun cannot be pulled out without an armed threat,” said Rep. Ha. Excessive presidential security force has caused a controversy several times.
It is not abnormal for presidential bodyguards to clash with civilians. But they are not fit if Daegu citizens felt nervous about the tense security. Moon’s secret service should have apologized if it went against its slogan of “friendly, open and modest” security. But the Blue House acted the opposite way. Kim Eui-kyeom, the presidential spokesman, presented photos to prove that security guards carried guns during the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye governments as well. It is pardoning itself just because the practice was used in the past administrations. “The security is certainly open!” one blogger even mocked.
The Blue House has been making a habit of finding excuses and scapegoats to blame for its mistakes and missteps. During a visit to Malaysia, President Moon said greetings in an Indonesian tongue. Instead of apologizing for the diplomatic blunder, the presidential office insisted the greeting is permissible among Malaysians.
Tak Hyun-min, Moon’s protocol aide, criticized the press for making it an issue when the host country did not mind. During the president’s visit to Cambodia, the Blue House’s social media pages even posted a picture of a culture center in Taiwan while the president was on a state visit to Cambodia. During his visit to the Czech Republic, the Blue House said on its home page that the president was making a visit to Czechoslovakia. As usual, there was no apology for the blunder.
After an international research group found that the second strongest-ever earthquake that struck the southeastern city of Pohang in 2018 was likely triggered by the government’s geothermal experiments, the ruling Democratic Party attributed it to the Lee Myung-bak administration. A responsible ruling party would have come up with a measure to prevent any future misfortunes like the earthquake that left 118 residents homeless and caused massive damage to the region from happening again.
The Blue House and loyalists of the Moon administration claim that they can do no wrong because they are clean. They refuse to admit to any flaws or criticism. According to political consultant Park Sung-min, the ruling power suffering from compulsive contrarianism.
Former President Roh Moo-hyun pressed forward by losing. Sometimes, losing can be winning, he advised.
JoongAng Ilbo, March 26, Page 30
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