Yoon announced his condolence plan, but withdrew… People’s Power Inside, opinions are divided
Democratic Party “I’m not asking for forgiveness… Condolences, harmony, and national emblems are all prohibited.”
People’s Strength presidential candidate Yoon Seok-yeol overturned his plan to pay tribute to Chun Doo-hwan on the 23rd. In the morning of that day, he said, “I will not pay condolences,” three hours after he said, “I’m a former president, shouldn’t I go to condolences?”
When Candidate Yoon asked about the plan for the condolences at 11:40 a.m., he replied, “I’m a former president, so shouldn’t I have to go?” and “I’ll look at the preparation schedule.” When asked that Chun died without a proper apology for the May 18 armed suppression, he said, “I don’t think it’s timely to talk about politics because it’s mourning.” Kim Ki-hyeon, floor leader of the People’s Power, also announced that he would visit the mortuary, saying, “It is the duty of a human being to pay condolences.”
In the afternoon, however, a different position emerged. Lee Jun-seok, the leader of the social networking service (SNS), said, “I have no plans to pay condolences separately,” and “I will send harmony on behalf of the party.” Candidate Yoon said, “I have decided not to offer condolences” in a statement from the captain’s name at around 2:40 pm. It is known that the presidential candidates who had luncheons withdrew their condolences. Candidate Yoon, who faced cold public sentiment last month with his remarks to defend Chun Doo-hwan’s politics, changed his position as concerns emerged that going to Chun’s condolences would bring another headwind.
The People’s Power is not free from political responsibility as it has its roots in the Democratic Justice Party, founded by the Chun clan. In 2019, remarks such as “May 18 is a riot” (Jong-myung Lee) and “a monster group called May 18 meritorious people” (Sun-rye Kim) came out of the mouths of the Liberty Korea Party (current People’s Power) lawmakers at the time.
Kim Jong-in, former chairman of the emergency response committee, visited the May 18 Democratic Cemetery in Gwangju in August of last year and knelt down to apologize. President Lee also maintained the ‘Seojin Policy’. However, Candidate Yoon poured cold water on him. Last month, he said, “There are many people who say that President Chun Doo-hwan did well in politics except for the military coup and the May 18th.” He said, “People in Honam also say that.”
The ruling party said, “Condolences, harmony, and the head of state are all impossible.” Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung said, “I did not reflect on and apologize to the people until the last minute for a crime that could never be forgiven.”
Song Young-gil, president of the Democratic Party, wrote on SNS, “I feel anger and regret at the foolishness of not asking for forgiveness for my sins. The Democratic Party said on its official SNS account, ‘I express my condolences for the well-being of former President Chun Doo-hwan,’ but deleted the expressions ‘ex-president’ and ‘mourning’.
Justice Party presidential candidate Shim Sang-jung also said on social media, “Chun never revealed the truth and left without an apology for the Gwangju massacre.” Candidate Shim pointed out, “The heavy question still remains as to whether the era of Chun Doo-hwan is over.” Ahn Cheol-soo, the presidential candidate of the People’s Party, said, “It is regrettable that he ended his life without an apology to the people despite historical mistakes.”