South Korea Gets Squeezed Between the US and China
From a new Korean President to a new reality on the peninsula.
January 20, 2013
As South Koreans prepare to vote on the presidential election, there is one man who has a lot to discuss with his neighbor next door. And he doesn’t like what he’s going to get from his own government to get his campaign started.
South Korea has gotten off to a relatively good start in the presidential election, at least when it comes to the actual election. South Koreans are also beginning to get used to the idea of the leader of their country, Lee Myung-bak, being called the next president. That’s because, until a few days ago, the South Korean public seemed to be focused on who would replace him.
The question in Korea is whether the candidate who will be named in this election will be a man who will have a fresh start for the young South Korean nation or one who would keep the status quo with the current government. The campaign is not a choice between the two candidates, because one of them will get elected with a margin of less than 100,000 votes. But in the early stages of the campaign, one candidate has been dominating the national conversation in South Korea in general. That person is Lee Myung-bak, former president.
“I can’t say that our country has been under a cloud of doom the last 12 months,” he told a crowd of reporters and supporters at a rally in Gimpo, south of Seoul, on Sunday. “This is a time of optimism, a time when we are really excited about the people who are standing with us. I want to congratulate President-elect Moon Jae-in as well as the remaining candidates for taking this opportunity to turn the corner for our country.”
So far, Moon Jae-in has been the only one of the candidates who seems to be putting a priority on the economy. A lot of candidates have focused on the fact that Moon Jae-in hasn’t been in office very long, as well as his relative inexperience as a president.
But Lee Myung-bak has been trying to turn the argument around on him. He says that Moon Jae-in is just trying to keep power in the hands of the ruling