Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Why the new super ministry nominee with drew (미래창조가학부)
The English papers in Seoul are all covering the Washington Post opinion piece in which the Park Geun-hye administration's initial nominee to head the new Future Ministry (미래창조과학부) explained his reasons for withdrawing from the nomination process. That editorial said in part "Change-resistant forces in the political and bureaucratic circles and certain business spheres naturally raised objections to my candidacy, mostly on the basis of my nationality and presumed lack of allegiance. A vitriolic response I can only liken to a witch hunt took off on the Internet and even in some mainstream media outlets. I was slandered. Some, for example, theorized that I was a spy. Family was considered fair game: My wife was accused of being associated with a brothel." Near the end of the article, he says "In the 21st century, the most successful countries and economies will be those that can move beyond the old prejudices concerning nationality." In response to the Washington Post piece, The Joongang Ilbo published an article headlined "Park's former nominee decries excess nationalism," while The Korea Herald's article bore the headline "Failed minister nominee makes bitter attack on Korea's old prejudices." The reactions are as one would expect, but provide some food for thought about this nation's role in an ever more closely-knit "global village."