UPDATE : 2018.9.24 MON 04:34
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President Park's approval rating soars up to 71.5%

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Saenuri wins 44%, Democrats 19%, Progressives 2%

President Park's approval
rating soars up to 71.5%

The popularity rating of President Park Geun-hye is continuously rising and hit 67% on Sept. 14, 2013. In some polls, her approval rating even went higher and reached 71.5%.

According to polls conducted by Korea Gallup in the second week of September, which more or less averaged the survey results conducted by various polling organizations, 67% of the respondents supported the way President Park ran the government and only 19% showed a negative view while 15% had no answer.

▲President Park Geun-hye (left) with President Barack Obama of the United States during her official state visit to the US starting her summit diplomacy with the world leaders.

Much of the reason for the rising popularity rating is considered to come from her successful 'sales' summit diplomacy at the G20 summit at St. Petersburg and her summit with the leaders of Vietnam which she visited in the wake of the G20 meeting.

President Park (left) with President Xi Jinping of China during her tour of China that came immediately after her US visit. She successfully persuaded President Xi on the importance of denuclearization in North Korea as well as increased cooperation between Korea and China in an upgraded strategic partnership.

Earlier, she had visited the United States in May and had a summit meeting with President Barack Obama and the Democratic People’s Republic of China in June and met with President Xi Jinping of China, which the Korean people considered a job very well done.

Before her visit to the US, her approval rating had ranged around 50%. She got 56% after her summit with President Barack Obama and this rose to 63% after her China visit and summit with President Xi Jinping.

President Park with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation during her visit to St. Petersburg to attend the G20 Summit Meeting.

Her summits with the G20 heads of government and leaders of Vietnam gave her additional 4%.

The respondents who supported her were asked why they gave her their approval votes.

Eighteen percent of them cited her performances in diplomacy and foreign relations and 17% her excellent dealing with North Korea. Nine percent said Park had a fixed objective mind with full trust in what she was doing without being overly influenced by the changing opinions of the people, while 8% liked the way she made the former President Chun Doo Hwan (a conservative President like herself) pay the fine and ill-gotten wealth which he had been required to return to the national treasury.

President Park with President Truong Tan Sang of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. She visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City after her G20 Summit and discussed ways to increase cooperation with Vietnam.

The interviewees then were asked what priority tasks President Park had to carry out at this moment.

Fourteen percent cited recovery and revitalization of the economy, 11% creation of jobs and reduction of unemployment, 8% price stability, 8% stabilization of real estate prices, and 7% support policy for the have-nots.

Also, the negative viewers of President Park’s policies were asked what they did not like of her policies.

North Korean self-propelled artillery vehicles and long-range rocket launchers deployed along the DMZ against the Republic of Korea (South). Chairman Kim Jong-Un made a series of blackmailing remarks bringing the two divided parts of the Korean peninsula to the blinks of another fratricidal war between the two sides.

Fifteen percent said Park was not ‘smoothly’ administering the affairs of the state and 8% said she had room for improvement in her ability to properly communicate with the people.
The interviewees then were asked which political parties they supported.

On this question, the ruling Saenuri Party won 44% of the votes, which was followed by 19% obtained by the main opposition Democratic Party. The controversial Unified Progressive Party got 2%. Some members of this Party had been charged with treason against the Republic of Korea in support of the North Korean regime.

Chairman Kim Jong- Un of North Korea. He obviously made an erroneous appraisal of President Park and unsuccessfully tried to bluff her with all kinds of military threats taking North Korea to the verge of an all-out war with the Republic of Korea (South). However, Kim gave in and asked for peace.

The ‘Ahn Cheol-soo Party’ (yet to be born), which used to win the support of the vast middle-of-the- roaders (normally accounting for more than one half of the total number South Korean population), had obviously been left out of the questionnaire. The ‘Ahn Party’ used to be a very close contestant of Saenuri with a difference in the first half of single-digit figures.
It appears that Ahn’s activities (or the lack of them) continue to be dwarfed by the successes of President Park in sharp contrast with the pre-Presidential election time last December when, in most opinion surveys, the then Independent Presidential Candidate Ahn prevailed upon the then ruling Saenuri Party Presidential Candidate Park who, in turn, defeated main opposition Presidential Candidate Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party.

Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the North Korean regime ordered the personnel of all the South Korean business companies in the Kaesong inter- Korean Industrial Park to leave and withdrew all the North Korean employees from the Park, literally closing down the only bilateral business establishment between the Republic of Korea (South) and North Korea. The inter-Korean industrial park is now back in operation after North Korea agreed to South Korea? demand for measures to prevent the recurrence of such a one-sided action by the North.

Park's rating
starts picking up amid North Korean blackmailing

So when did the popularity rating of President Park Geun-hye start picking up?

It first started when Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the all-powerful Military Affairs Commission of the (North) Korean Workers Party made massive blackmailing efforts against the Republic of Korea (South) following the United Nations sanctions against North Korea and the subsequent military maneuvers jointly carried out by the South Korean and United States Armed Forces.

Negotiations too place between South and North Korea for the reunion meeting of the separated families between the two sides. But North Korea recently called off the meeting.

Korea used to be a male-dominated society in the past under the influence of the Confucian teaching when the male prevailed upon the weaker gender and took advantage of women in various ways. This situation continues to exist in the feudalistic and dictatorial North Korea.

It appears that Chairman Kim Jong-Un thought that he could bully and blackmail the ‘fragile woman’ President of South Korea.

Kim went almost all the way and to the point where a full-scale war could break out at any moment between the two sides.

Kim even threatened to strike the United States with his nuclear warhead and long-range missiles.

Kim then virtually closed down the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Park ordering all South Korean citizens out of the Park and withdrawing all the North Korean employees from the Park back to their homes in North Korea.

However, what Chairman Kim didn’t know was the fact that Madam Park inherited the fortitude and firm determination of her father, the late President Park Chung-Hee.

The late former President Park Chung-Hee (father of incumbent President Park), fifth from right, inspects a farming village in the countryside to see the progress of the Saemaeul (New Community) Movement which revolutionarily changed Korea's rural district from a poverty-stricken region to a thriving community. President Park Geun-hye is said to have inherited the firm determination and fortitude from of her father, President Park Chung-Hee.
Madam Park was not a woman to be bluffed into submission. She successfully rode over the precarious situation and won.

Chairman Kim gave in and made a 180-degree about-turn in his policy toward and against South Korea. Kim gave up his military provocations and almost begged to Madam Park to resume the normal operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. Once the storm was over, President Park’s ship resumed its smooth voyage on the tranquil sea starting her summit diplomacy.

The late former First Lady Yook Young-soo, mother of President Park Geun-hye, grabs the hands of lepers who most people turn away in fear of infection. Madam Yook was respected among the people as 'Mother of the Korean People.'
In the domestic theater, too, President Park is gaining the support of the people and in this she is regarded by many people to have inherited the good traits of her mother, the late former First Lady Madam Yook Young-soo. She was an all-time best-loved First Lady in Korea. The successive First Ladies in Korea have varying opinions of the people on themselves. However, in the case of Madam Yook, there is no one in the entire Republic of Korea, who has any reservations about her. Madam Yook was always on the side of the powerless people and for this she got a nickname, “An opposition leader inside Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae.”

The New Community Movement during the rule of the late President Park Chung-Hee literally changed the lot of Korea from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the most prosperous.

President Park Chung-Hee is largely considered to be responsible for the emancipation of the Korean people from the chronic poverty of 5,000 years and among the established generation he still enjoys 85% of support rating as the Best President of the Republic of Korea for his successful economic policies which boosted the Korean per-capita GNI of South Korea from mere US$79 when he took over power by a military coup d’etat in 1960 to US$1,676 in 1979 through unprecedentedly rapid economic development dubbed “Miracles of the Han River,” and laid a foundation to eventually to rank among the top ten economies of the world today. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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