Moon Jae-in: South Korea’s new captain

Staff Correspondent
Thursday, May 18th, 2017


 

Modern history has not witnessed countries as divided as they are today. And the good news is a new wave is surging around the world inspiring people to choose leaders who can unify their divided people.

 

Emmanuel Macron of France has been chosen by the French the other day and Moon Jae-in is just elected by the South Korean as leaders who are capable to unify their divided people. The 64-year-old human rights lawyer, known for his liberal views, Mr. Moon has vowed to plug up the chasm that has divided his country, a country which has been reeling from a corruption scandal that saw his predecessor ignobly impeached.

 

Impeaching a sitting president is a glorious example that would inspire hope among downtrodden people of many other countries in the world who are still being bulldozed by corrupt and autocratic regimes.

 

South Koreans are confident Mr. Moon will shore up their fragile economy and in a departure from current policy of belligerence he will peruse a fruitful diplomacy in order to diffuse the present tension in Korean peninsula by way of increase in contacts with Chinese and North Korean leaderships. He is the man who can navigate the country away from the scandals of Ms Park’s era at a time when South Koreans are desperate for a change of government.

 

Mr. Moon’s background and messages resonate with common people of South Korea. Son of refugees from North Korea, Mr. Moon has spent most of his career to uphold human rights, advocate greater dialogues with the North, reform South Korea’s family-run conglomerates—-known as chaebols—-and endured jail terms for leading protests against military ruler Park Chung-hee, the now-impeached president Ms. Park Geun-hye’s father.

 

South Koreans have chosen Mr. Moon to save them from threats outside of their country as the two previous conservative administrations miserably failed to stop North Korea’s weapons development. Mr. Moon will, however, find it tricky to manage tense relations with North Korea, which continues to defy UN sanctions with its continual missile tests. But his priority would be issues related to corruption, unemployment, and economy, with youth unemployment stubbornly high.

 

South Korea apparently looks like one of the smart and honest countries on the planet; but clouds of corruption almost always hovered over its powerhouses. It seems like a country with honest people at the bottom and with dishonest ones (mainly in politics and business) at the top. The needle of moral compass moves in different directions in different echelons of South Korean societies.

 

South Korea is a good friend and an excellent development partner of Bangladesh for a long time since our liberation. Bilateral relations between these two countries cover a wide range of areas that includes trade, investment, infrastructure development, human resource development, and science and technology. The country is an attractive destination of manpower export of Bangladesh. The growth (more than 125 percent per year) of export to South Korea from Bangladesh has been phenomenal.

 

In a book released recently, Mr. Moon intoned he still dreamed of returning to his parent’s North Korean home town, Hungnam. “I was thinking I wanted to finish my life there in Hungnam doing pro bono service,” he wrote. “When peaceful reunification comes, the first thing I want to do is to take my 90-year-old mother and go to her home town.” he poignantly conveyed.

 

Mankind is horribly divided into rich and poor, the world is divided between North and South and sometimes East and West; leaders are divided as advocates of democracy and proponents of autocracy. Behind the veil of superficiality and hypocrisy of leaders, human beings are passing through an atrocious history of enmity and bloodshed. In such a crossroads the planet needs statesmen who can right the wrong. Let’s see how Macron of France and Moon of South Korea fare in this divided world.

 

E-mail: maswood@hotmail.com

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