PRESIDENT MOON’S LEFT-WING REVOLUTION WILL LEAD SOUTH KOREA TO RUIN
Autobiographies ought to be read with a grain of salt, especially when they are written by politicians. And yet, I confess having never read an autobiography that smacks of such distinctive leftism as Moon Jae-in’s Destiny by the incumbent South Korean president.
The 424-page Japanese translation of Moon’s autobiography (Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo) was published last October. The original Korean edition, which came out in 2011, reportedly became the best-selling book in the country just two weeks after publication.
The book is a deeply emotional account of the life of Moon (66), starting with his childhood as a refugee from the North. It depicts how Moon overcame abject poverty to become a human rights lawyer, and how an “ordinary Korean boy” who wanted to grow up to be “a good person” ended up in politics after making the acquaintance of Roh Mu-Hyun, who impressed him immensely as a friend and mentor. Roh was president of South Korea 2003-2008 before taking his own life in 2009.
Moon’s description of his empathy with Roh’s unabashed adoration of the North and idealistic enthusiasm for the possibilities of socialism struck me as self-serving and dishonest. In reality, values such as human rights, freedom, justice, and legitimacy of leadership that Moon claims he honors have mercilessly been trampled underfoot by none other than himself.
Moon marked the second anniversary of his presidency last month. With Korean presidents serving only one five-year term, he has three more years left at the helm of his nation. In a nutshell, Moon has pursued a socialist revolution since taking office. He admits being the product of a “candlelight revolution”; it would be fair to declare that his policies have been directed towards establishing an autocratic left-wing administration in South Korea.
Incidentally, the candlelight revolution Moon refers to was designed to spur citizens disgruntled with the conservative administration of president Park Guen-hye to go out on the streets, applying an immense pressure to influence its policies. In South Korea today, candlelight demonstrations led by left-wing liberal forces are staged every week alongside demonstrations by conservative forces waving South Korean national flags.
Moon is soft-spoken but his actions are sinister and harsh. South Koreans have gained insight into his true colors little by little over the past two years. As a result, his approval rating, which stood at an amazing 84.1% at the start of his administration in May 2017, had dropped to 47.3% in a poll taken last May 9, with a higher disapproval rating at 48.6% (the Real Meter survey). As for party-by-party approval ratings, Moon’s ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DP) came first with 36.4%, closely followed by the top opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) at 34.8%.
Pro-Japanese Forces Purged
If the present situation should prevail, Moon’s party could fall out of power in the general elections next April. The bad news for his administration is that it is fighting an uphill economic battle at home. As of April this year, the unemployed increased to 1.24 million, including 11.5% of the younger generation. Professor Tsutomu Nishioka, a leading expert on the Korean Peninsula, points out that unemployment among the young generation could actually be 25% if those working only part-time are included.
Nishioka, who was my guest on my regular “Genron” Internet news show last week, said that Moon set a clever trap to take advantage of the situation, explaining:
“At the National Assembly on April 29, the administration rammed through two highly contentious bills calling for electoral reform and establishing an independent agency to investigate corruption among high-ranking officials, along with two other bills on judicial reform. Called ‘fast tracking,’ this system ensures that the bills will reach the floor for a general vote after a maximum of 330 days of review by relevant parliamentary bodies.”
By having taken action in April of this year, the Democratic Party expects the bills to be enacted in time for next year’s April elections.
Simulation results have shown that the top opposition LKP Party would sustain the heaviest blow from electoral reform for the 300-seat unicameral national assembly—253 from single-seat electoral districts and 47 from proportionally represented districts. Under the existing electoral system, the two major parties dominate single-seat districts. Through the projected proportional representation system aimed at increasing the proportional districts to 75 or more, Moon intends to enable minor parties to gain more parliamentary seats.
If proportional seats should be increased to 75, the LKP is expected to lose approximately 20 seats, or 18%. While the ruling party would also be affected, its losses would not be too damaging to Moon, as all of South Korean political parties, excluding the KLP, are left-wing, including the ultra-left minority Justice Party. Overall, the reform is designed to guarantee left-wing liberal forces a sure-fire victory.
“Lee Hae-Chan, who heads the DP, boasts that new system will assure the ruling party of being in power for the next 20 years,” Nishioka observed.
“Perhaps the next 50 years,” quipped Hong Hyung, who was another guest on my show. Hong, a former minister at the South Korean embassy in Tokyo, is now editor-in-chief of the Independence Daily, a weekly published for Korean residents in Japan.
What will come out of another bill proposed by the Moon administration to set up an investigative agency to check corruption among high-ranking officials? Hong described the bill as “Gestapo-like.”
The Moon administration has relentlessly purged pro-Japanese citizens under the pretext of sweeping away “old evils.” But criticism against the administration has lately erupted in various sectors of society. On March 1, for instance, the South Korean Veterans’ Association appealed to active servicemen to resort to “insubordination against the Moon administration over its disarmament policy vis-à-vis the North” and demanded that Defense Minister Jeong Kyong-doo resign.
The appeal for disobedience on the part of servicemen, unheard of in ordinary armed forces across the globe, shows how large the divisions are in South Korea today.
A group of 42 retired senior diplomats, including former ambassadors, have also appealed to active diplomats to “strive to restore security cooperation frameworks with the US and Japan.”
There are also others who are critical of the Moon administration among prosecutors, judges, and police officials—those regarded as the main forces committed to purging pro-Japanese elements. With a keen nose to sniff out any movement of anti-Moon forces, the administration obviously has introduced the two bills to beat the opposition to the punch.
“We Will Shed Blood and Fight It Out”
“The message from the Moon administration is loud and clear: We will arrest all of you if you dare rebel against us,” explained Nishioka.
If a corruption investigation agency is to be set up targeting high-ranking officials as the Moon administration envisions, the atmosphere of Korean society will become extremely dismal overnight. In his autobiography, Moon describes his life’s mission as treading in the footsteps of the late President Roh, whom he served as chief secretary. In a 2007 summit with the Kim Jong-il, Roh made a pledge akin to surrendering the whole of the South to North Korea. The series of ongoing changes forged ahead by Moon, which can correctly be described as a blatant socialist revolution, is leading to South Korea’s ruin as a democracy. It is a revolt against South Korea directed by its own president.
The moves KLP leader Hwang Kyo-ahn is making under such bizarre circumstances deserve scrutiny. Hwang is a former elite prosecutor who served as justice minister and prime minister under President Park. Making up his mind to fight against the Moon administration in February, Hwang has since been vigorously taking to the streets, appealing to Koreans of all walks of life to “shed blood and fight it out with me to save South Korea.”
The manifesto Hwang announced at the time was inspiring:
“The Moon administration has already taken control of the government and much of the judiciary. By introducing electoral reform, Moon Jae-in is trying to further control the national assembly. Let us band together to put an end to his left-wing dictatorship. We at the KLP are standing at the helm of a fight in which we are putting our lives on the line. We will shed blood and fight it out to save South Korea. We want you to prepare for some sacrifice, stand up now, and fight with us. Otherwise, our sons and daughters will forever live under a left-wing dictatorship.”
Clearly, South Korea is in the middle of a civil war. This means Japan is in imminent danger. The international situation facing Japan will be much harsher in the Reiwa Era which has just begun with the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. Bearing that firmly in mind, we must earnestly explore ways to cope effectively with the difficult times ahead, including a revision of our “peace” constitution. (The End)
(Translated from “Renaissance Japan” column no. 853 in the May 30, 2019 issue of The Weekly Shincho)