09 May 2017
The upcoming South Korea presidential election is taking place amid a confluence of unprecedented events in the country’s history: the biggest influence-peddling and corruption scandal that ousted Park, rising tensions on the Korean peninsula as a new US President tries to nip North Korea’s nuclear threat in the bud, and frosty ties with China, which is retaliating against the deployment of a US missile defence system on South Korean soil.
The nation is deeply scarred by the Park scandal, which exposed the ills of conglomerate-driven growth underpinned by cronyism and cosy ties between businessmen and the ruling elite. Park and her confidant, Choi Soon Sil, have been arrested for colluding to extort money from conglomerates under the guise of donations. Both deny any wrongdoing. Tech giant Samsung’s heir Lee Jae Yong, accused of bribing Park and Choi, is also facing trial.
Political science professor Lee Su-Hyun from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said Park’s scandal has all but wiped out the conservative camp’s chances.
“The majority of voters want to have a new government that is clean and more efficient in dealing with international and domestic affairs,” she told The Straits Times.
CMS / GPO / Online / Print
Last updated on 26/05/2017