On September 25th, Park Young Sun was chosen as the Democratic Party candidate for the Seoul mayoral election, which is to be held on October 26th. Park will now take on lawyer Park Won Sun on October 3rd to decide who will go on to run as the sole opposition candidate.
As probably the second most important elected official in the land, it is thus very important to review Park’s credentials in good time.
Park, a former VOA and MBC anchor, was elected to the National Assembly via proportional representation in 2004, going on to lead efforts to hinder Lee Myung Bak during the ‘BBK scandal’ of 2007 prior to his elevation to president, while also pushing moves to keep South Korea’s powerful industrial conglomerates in check. She was elected as representative of Seoul Guro district in the following year, thereafter going on to serve as Senior Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Party Policy Committee.
She has played a leading role in consultations with the ruling Grand National Party on several pending pieces of legislation as a member of the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee.
Among other things, this has involved working on the passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act, which has been on ice in the legislature for the last 17 months. However, this was disappointing; discussion was perfunctory and delaying tactics were paramount.
Park claimed, “There are no ‘human rights’ in the North Korean Human Rights Act proposed by the GNP” and pushed for an alternate Democratic Party bill that focused on aid and didn’t make mention of human rights.
Elsewhere, she also created confusion in South Korea as to the cause of the Cheonan sinking, despite the physical evidence available which clearly confirmed that the vessel was sunk by North Korea, raising the possibility of an accident involving a mine.
Throwing up the spectre of a Lee administration ‘fabrication’, and questioning the government rather than North Korea, she asked, “The possibility of a U.S. submarine having mistakenly attacked the Cheonan has been raised on the internet; does the government have a policy to deal with this?”
Park didn’t stop there. She instigated social chaos with a rumor, saying, “It was destroyed by a mine explosion, and there is no way to know who laid it.”
This is no good. The mayor of Seoul is in charge of the defense of the capital city. It is hard to believe that such an administrator would make the kind of comments which could put national security at risk, without valid explanation. At the very least, she needs to define her position on the Cheonan attack, for the people of Seoul.