South Korea Gets New President Rays of Hope Likely In Korean Peninsula Nepal Could Be Benefitted
By Arun Ranjit
Having lost to Ms. Park Geun-hye in South Korea’s 2012 presidential election, Moon Jae-in has become the chief beneficiary of the abuse-of-power scandal that engulfed his erstwhile opponent. Moon’s victory in the race to the presidential Blue House in Seoul could herald an era of rapprochement with North Korea, and an unlikely meeting of minds with US President Donald Trump over Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The 64-year-old left-leaning liberal positioned who vowed to reunite the country after the bitter divisions that opened up over Park’s allegedly corrupt relationship with her longtime friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil. After nine years of conservative rule, a progressive leader occupied the Blue House after Moon Jae-in, the Democratic Party candidate, handily won May9 presidential election in South Korea. His victory will likely result in serious and significant swings in South Korean policy in ways that affect Japan and other nations in the region.
Moon is a former human rights lawyer and progressive politician who served as chief of staff to the last liberal president, Roh Moo-hyun. He was one of Roh’s closest friends; he was in charge of Roh’s funeral after he committed suicide and helped settle his affairs. That experience no doubt will have an impact on his presidency and his management of Korean affairs.
Moon won a convincing victory in presidential ballot claiming over 41 percent of the vote, cleanly besting conservative candidate Hong Joon-pyo with24 percent of the vote, and the centrist software magnate Ahn Cheol-soo, who claimed 21.4percent of ballots. With turn out at 77 percent, the highest level in two decades.
As South Korea elected new president, now it is the time for the president and the people to put the emotional roller coaster behind to get the nation back on track. As this presidential election was a snap election held after the impeachment and ouster of former President Park Geun-hye, the new president hopefully, cannot afford the sweet taste of victory. Given a myriad of grave challenges facing the nation, our new leader must be strong.
As the Korean people are expecting lots, the new president has heavy burden to demonstrate wisdom to overcome the crisis of the country restoring the pride too. The new president must show such integral leadership to help the nation recover from the acute division seen in the massive rallies held by those supporting the presidential impeachment and those opposing it.
The world hopes that the new president will begin a new era for his own nation-Korea and the rest world, respecting the anger and despair of his opponents. The new president should be smart avoiding the mistakes likely to be happened like of previous president’s lopsided styles, which involved drawing from her inner circle.
Moon rides a tide of popular disgust with conservative politics. But Park’s impeachment last year, and its unanimous confirmation by the Constitutional Court in March, created a surge of support for Moon, who has long enjoyed an image as a clean politician. Now he has also work to tackle the chebol the huge industrial conglomerates that dominate the South Korean economy and have outsized influence in its politics. Immediate after his election the world leaders including role-players countries in the Korean Peninsula Japan, US, China and Russia had welcomed and commented “looks forward to working with the new president. “A good bilateral relationship is essential for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Tensions will also arise from Moon’s desire to reclaim South Korea’s leading role in relations with North Korea. Yes, Moon backs the Sunshine Policy of his progressive predecessors, Presidents Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-hyun, which sought to engage Pyongyang as a way of reducing tensions. That policy put less emphasis on the North’s denuclearization and instead offered significant financial resources to Pyongyang to convince it of Seoul’s good intentions. But the policy was undercut by the North’s unfair games on commitments under the1994 Framework Agreement that capped its nuclear ambitions and reneging on promises made during the six-party talks involving two Korea, Japan, the United States, China and Russia.
Earlier, Pyongyang would have nothing to do with conservative presidents in Seoul who flatly acknowledged — and decried — the North Korean threat. But now, President Moon has said that he favors a “bold blueprint” to deal with North Korea. He would resume economic ties to encourage reform in the North, and would likely push for the reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. In return, he looks ready to accept a freeze on nuclear tests. The North Korean leadership too might hopes the new president Moon will drive the peace talk smoothly that could bring Rays of Peace Hope in Korean Peninsula.
He wants to lead in relations with Pyongyang, but he needs partners to get the North’s attention. China has connections to Pyongyang and economic influence, but Beijing’s price for help is that Seoul make more distance between itself and the U.S. Yet the U.S. provides the best guarantee of South Korean sovereignty in the face of both Chinese and North Korean threats. Japan has already indicated its readiness to reach out to the new president and help him make the right choice.
Moon entered into the Seoul’s Blue House through the Democratic Party that was formed as the New Politics Alliance for Democracy on 26 March 2014only after the independent faction led by Ahn Cheol-soo, then in the process of forming a party called the New Political Vision Party, merged with the main opposition Democratic Party, led by Kim Han-gil. Ahn and Kim became joint leaders of the new party. The party performed poorly in by-elections and citing the morality both leaders stepped down, having served for three months. It is pride matter too for Nepal that President Moon Jae-in had also visited Nepal twice in 2004 and 2015. Moon’s was in Nepal in 2004 after resigning presidential secretary for civil affairs. Actually, his Nepal trip was deemed as a manifestation of his will to keep a distance from politics. But while he was on trek the then South Korean president and his long-time ally President Roh Moo-hyun faced impeachment. So he short-cut his trip and went back to Korea. But he came back to Nepal again in 2015 immediate after the Nepal was destroyed by major earthquakes. During this trip, he was engaged in distributing relief materials to the quake victims.
So, as President Moon knows Nepal in depth and now it is the challenging opportunities for the Nepalese leaders to make Nepal beneficial during the term of new President Moon. As Nepal was one of the countries who helped South Korea till early sixties when South Korea are facing hardship. But due to miracle in11th economic powerful nation in the world however Nepal is still lagging behind and could not make any miracle on the Mount Everest or the Lumbini.
Prof. Dr. Jagdish Prasad Agrawal is a well-known name in the health professions education sector of Nepal. Having joined Maharajgunj Medical Campus under...