Skip to comments.Park 'Positioning Herself as Korea's Iron Lady'
Posted on 03/30/2013 8:43:14 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
President Park Geun-hye models herself on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the "iron lady" of South Korea, the Wall Street Journal speculated Wednesday.
"Ms. Park, like Mrs. Thatcher, is known for not being intimidated by totalitarian regimes or men in power," the paper said. "When her father, President Park Chung-hee, was assassinated in 1979, Ms. Park was quoted as saying 'Is the border secure?' -- sparking admiration by worrying primarily about the possible threat of a North Korean invasion."
"In her first televised address from [Cheong Wa Dae] she sharply chastised opposition politicians -- almost all men --for blocking her government reorganization plans," the paper added.
The paper believes these are conscious similarities. Park "made her fondness for Mrs. Thatcher clear in a 2007 speech in which she said that the 'leadership that can revive South Korea from crisis is Thatcherism'."
(Excerpt) Read more at english.chosun.com ...
I find it interesting that conservative Asian women are rediscovering Western conservative models at the same time we're abandoning them.
Read the full article for details, along with the links. It seems fairly clear that the new president of South Korea is deliberately adopting Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel as her models. Here's a second article with reference to Merkel: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/01/14/2013011400871.html
Miss Park needs to march on up to Pyongyang and bitchslap that fat turd.
Her father, who I knew personally, was a hard man, but took Korea from utter destruction & poverty to the beginning of where they are today. If she does half as well in the Blue House, she’ll be great.
If she is truly smart, she will observe whatever Obama is doing and she’ll do the exact opposite of that.
I kind of fear for her.
It’s one thing to be Maggie Thatcher in England.
It’s another to be her in South Korea:(
Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea
Hmmmm.... kinda cute.
She knows karate...
If she is more like Margaret Thatcher on national security questions that alone will be good.
If I remember right, on the domestic front in Britain Margaret Thatcher took a number of steps at deregulation.
I believe this too will take shape under Park in two directions - one on the typical front of government deregulation, and the other on a front that seems out of character to deregulation but in the Korean sense is not - trimming the sails of the giant Chaebols (conglomerates - mostly one-family dominated - that I don’t believe America has ever experienced the likes of in terms of the GDP they represent). They too act as a brake on entrepeneurs, growth of small businesses into larger ones, diversity of capital investment as opposed to concentration of it, and many other “monopolistic” practices that if trimmed will open up the Korean economy more and increase economic opportunity as well. I believe she will attempt some of this sail trimming, even though her party has traditionally had more support from the Chaebols, as her father used them to help fast-track South Korean industrial development. The questions might be whether her own party will be the stumbling block or will the Chaebols themselves buy both sides of the isle to stop her.
Korea history is replete with examples of able leaders being remove by political intrigue just when their talents are needed.
From what I read above she hasn’t done or said anything any leader wouldn’t have said. Was she supposed to fold in the face of NK or opposition leaders because they are men?
Government should not give special favors to Chaebols any more, I think the time for that is past.
You mean leaders like President Obama or Speaker Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Reid? ;-)
I know what you meant GeronL it's way too early to pass judgment on what sort of leader the new President Park will be but sometimes for a leader to do what to conservatives is obviously the right thing is itself significant.
12 posted on 3/31/2013 3:18:19 PM by GeronL: Was she supposed to fold in the face of NK or opposition leaders because they are men?
By Korean standards, the answer to your question is not immediately obvious.
The simple fact is that a lot of Koreans would expect a woman to fold her cards and acquiesce to men. That goes double for conservative women. In Asian politics and business, just as with America in the 1950s, it is liberal feminist women, not conservative women, who stand up to men and fight back. President Park Geun-hye will, by her example, create a model for conservative women no matter what she does.
I hope her model is a good model for women. Time will tell.
For a female politician like the new President Park to stand up to North Korea or to male leaders in her own conservative Saenuri Party or male leaders of the chaebols (as Wuli pointed out) or male leaders of the opposition is nowhere near as easy as it is for Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin to attack male Democrats or male RINOs, or in Palin’s case, to attack the oil companies that have an outsized influence in Alaskan politics.
I am far from being an unmitigated fan of the new President Park. I know her family's history too well, which included harassment and sometimes outright persecution by her father, President Park Chung-hee, of Christian conservative leaders in South Korea, some of whom I knew personally. Even at this late date I cannot discuss some of that publicly because it could harm the families of people who are long dead.
Let's just say that South Korea, although the nation has a high percentage of evangelicals and many of them were key figures in both the anti-Japanese and anti-Communist movements, is not a historically Christian country.
The transition from an outspokenly Christian leader such as President Syngman Rhee, who was known for both Christian convictions and authoritarian rule, to subsequent military leaders such as President Park Chung-hee, who were known for authoritarianism and dedication to “traditional values” such as ancestor worship and morality based on Buddhism and Confucianism, did not always go well for Christians.
President Park Chung-hee understood that conservative Christians were not his natural enemies and focused mostly on attacking liberals and Communists. However, he didn't tolerate opposition to his rule from anyone, and a lot of people who in the United States would be considered right-wing conservative Christians suffered his wrath if they opposed his syncretistic religious practices and efforts to restore traditional Korean moral values.
This 2012 article from the Korea Times on the new President Park's views is an indicator of the problems Christian politicians still today have with older Buddhists in conservative Korean circles: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/09/116_118974.html
The new President Park's religious views are somewhat unclear. She's an electrical engineering graduate of Sogang University, a Jesuit school, and received a baptismal name while attending. She has spent some time taking graduate school classes from a conservative Presbyterian college.
However, her mother was a devout Buddhist and President Park Geun-hye doesn't attend religious services, whether Christian or Buddhist. From what I can tell, she believes that a moral foundation is important to society and religion is helpful but not essential to giving people that moral foundation.
By Western standards, that sounds like the older liberalism of someone like Thomas Jefferson.
However, to be fair to the new President Park, by Asian standards, it shows a degree of toleration for Christianity which is valuable. After all, “traditional values” for Asian society include things like ancestor worship which are fundamentally inimical to Christian principles.
What I can say is that I'm hopeful, and that if I were in South Korea, I'd be a lot happier with the South Korean president than I am right now as an American citizen with my president. Whatever problems the new President Park has, she is a lot better than President Obama.
We in the United States are abandoning our heritage and taking jackhammers to our moral and economic foundations at the same time that Asian countries are rediscovering much though not all of the moral foundations and economic freedom that created modern Western civilization.
That does not bode well for the future of America, and I have more hope for the future of South Korea than I do for the future of my own country.
I think you are 100% correct!
I hope her model is a good model for women. Time will tell
I hope so too
I personally know a Korean Methodist lay-leader, a woman, who serves on a Korean Methodist national board. I should sound her out on your many comments regarding South Korean Christians. They are certainly not the most conservative Korean Christians, though most are more conservative, even in their Christianity than U.S. Methodists. They held onto the faith values they learned from earlier generations of Methodist missionaries, while the U.S. descendents of those missionary generations abandoned many of them.
I think you are right, and some things the new president said during the campaign suggests she too thinks the time is here for some “anti-trust” measures in regard to the Chaebols. Time will tell if I am right and how far she will try to go - IF I am right.
I wonder if the heightening of tensions might have a lot to do with her election - much like the election of Lincoln in 1860 lead to a heightening of tensions in 1861. If true I don’t think enough has been made of this. Not saying that I would do anything different but it does help to understand the mindset of one’s adversary.
BUMP. Of course I wouldn’t support taking away their money or anything. They just should not be getting government loan guarantees and stuff that other businesses do not get. This allowed some of them to go into massive debt they could never have dug their way out of.
Does Daewoo ring a bell?
Using unlimited credit from the government it became the second largest corporation in South Korea with twenty or so divisions and hundreds of companies under its control. Of course in the 90’s the UNLIMITED credit was curtailed as economic problems hit SK.
In 1999 it went bankrupt with $84.3 BILLION in debt.
some divisions survive as independent companies now
I think not ...
Park urges IOC to retain taekwondo in Olympics SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Friday to help taekwondo permanently remain an official Olympic sport, according to Park's aides.Tae Kwon Do is the Korean national martial art.
Karate is a pathetic hoax perpetrated on the USA by Japan in retaliation for us dropping nukes on two of their cities.
What follows is a gross oversimplification but is correct in general outline.
Unlike the situation in the United States, the major denominations in South Korea are Presbyterians, Full Gospel (which is equivalent to the Assemblies of God), Baptists, Methodists and Roman Catholics, in roughly that order. The Presbyterians are divided into a number of different Presbyterian denominations, the biggest of which are two large evangelical denominations of about 2.2 million members each, one much more conservative denomination about a fifth of that size, one somewhat more conservative denomination about a quarter of that size, and one quite liberal denomination about a tenth of that size.
Other denominations exist in Korea, many of which trace their origins to the post-World War II era, but those are the largest and most influential groups.
The Roman Catholics trace their heritage to the work of Koreans who spent time in China and were the first to introduce Christianity to South Korea — I'd have to do the research but I'm fairly sure it was in the late 1600s or early 1700s, and certainly long before anyone else. They obtained the help of French missionaries, some of whom were martyred in Korea, but were not particularly successful until the large growth of Christianity under the influence of Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries who began their work in the late 1800s. The Baptists and the groups that became the Full Gospel churches came somewhat later.
Protestantism entered Korea while the country was still independent. However, the Japanese obtained a protectorate in 1905 and took over the country directly a half-decade later, ruling it until 1945, and by the 1920s were severely persecuting Christians who showed disloyalty to the Empire, especially with regard to refusal to participate in Shinto shrine worship of the Japanese emperor.
The four main splits in Presbyterianism date back to the expulsion of the Japanese following World War II, when the most conservative Presbyterians refused to have anything to do with those who had participated in emperor worship. The main Presbyterian body expelled a group of liberal denominational leaders who had collaborated with the Japanese and had adopted German higher-critical liberal views; that main body then divided over whether to cooperate with American Presbyterian missionaries in the PCUSA (Northern) and PCUS (Southern) denominations, or whether to work only with the Christian Reformed Church, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and other strictly conservative Reformed denominations, in large measure because under Japanese rule an Orthodox Presbyterian missionary had nearly been killed by the Japanese for refusing to participate in emperor worship at the same time that most of the American missionaries were willing to do so. The initial seceder group merged with the more conservative of the two larger bodies, but the merger was not successful and part of the initial seceder group split again to form a smaller denomination which now has ties with the Orthodox Presbyterians, Canadian Reformed, and GKN-vrijgemaakt in the Netherlands.
I do not know enough of the history of the Methodists in Korea to speak with any level of authority, but my understanding is that the Korean Methodists, like the Presbyterians, suffered from problems caused by American missionaries who were too willing to compromise with liberalism. Unlike the Korean Presbyterians, the Korean Methodists were not able to find conservative Methodist bodies overseas after the Korean War who were willing to help them and that has not been good for the Methodists, who have been influenced more by American liberalism than the other major Korean denominations.
Again, this is a gross oversimplification, but I hope it is of some help.
Rikidozan "faked" being Japanese -- just to work as a wrestler.
... but everybody knows that wrassling is for real.
Ricky was famous for unleashing the “karate chop !”
I got to meet him back in ‘58 or ‘59...
I’d never heard of him until a half hour ago. There were lots of similar personal stories of Koreans under the Japanese occupation; for instance, General Choi.
Thanks for an informative post.
I am very fond of Korea.
It was one of my two overseas Army assignments; and I applied to get my time in Korea extended but it was turned down, not at the U.S. Army HQ in Seoul, but at the Pentagon. I think my life may have taken a different course if I had been allowed a longer hitch in Korea. I am not sure how exactly, only that it was a defining experience for me and I left with potential for that to increase on the table.
Glad to hear you liked your tour of duty in Korea. As you probably know, soldiers either love or hate their Korean tours — and being a “hardship tour” separated from family does not help.
I know a chaplain who managed to extend his Korean tours for 11 years, and some other people who went into the Reserves so they could stay in Korea, but they usually were married to Korean wives.
“I know a chaplain who managed to extend his Korean tours for 11 years, and some other people who went into the Reserves so they could stay in Korea”
An Intel officer I met was a Chaplain (Chaplains are accepted by lots of people, Korean and American because they are seen as ‘church’ leader type people, and therefor can be trusted). He had many years experience in Korea and when he was with us and the KATUSA’s would hear him speak they would remark how perfect his Korean was, not just the words but all the nuances of accent, tone and inflection.
I was engaged, but not married when I went to Korea.
It seemed at first I would view it as a hardship, but as my private message to you shows, I did not leave feeling like it had been a hardship.