Most Koreans (some 90% according a recent poll) say, “Now we have a President who knows what the people really want and what a President should really do.” The peoplenot agreeing with them seem to bea negligible minority, including some dishonest jaebeol chairmen who had unduly enjoyed enormous benefits and privileges from the discredited former regimes at the expense of the interest of the honest, hard-working majority.
Following his inauguration as Korea’s 19th President, Moon visited Bonghwa Village, the birth place of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun, on May 23, 2017, and made a moving address to an unprecedentedly large crowd of over 30,000 people in the history of the tiny villagein the southeastern province of Gyeongsangnanm-do.
At the memorial meeting for the late Roh who had committed suicide in protest against undue legal actions against him, President Moon said, “Thank you, Mr. President, for helping me keep my promise to you that I will return to you as the President of the Republic of Korea. Now I am here as President!” Moon then said, “I know Mr. President, you are seeing us at this moment somewhere here, and are saying in gratitude to all Koreans, ‘Am I glad to see this happening!’”
The speech by Moon that day was viewed as very impressive and meaningful. Gist follows:
It is eight years since the passage of the late President Roh Moo-hyun, but we have so many people here today with us whose support of the late President has not changed.
I am so grateful for the people who have helped to keep my promise during my election campaign that I would return here as the President of the Republic of Korea. I know that somewhere here the late President Roh would be hiding and saying with a grateful mind to you all, “Am I glad to see this happing!”
These days, I am receiving overly generous praises and affection from the people. I am saying this because I have not done anything special. I have only done what I should do to make Korea a normal society and make myself a normal President. Such efforts have become a ‘special work’ in the minds of the people in Korea. I would say that the Korean society has long been aseriously abnormal one.
Dream of the late President Roh was nothing different from mine. The country he sought was one where democracy, human rights and people’s welfare worked normally and where localism, ideological conflict, discrimination and abnormalities did not exist. In order to attain these goals, the late President Roh personally set an example thinking and acting like an ordinary citizen and communicating with the ordinary citizens.
However, the barriers of reality were insurmountably high and it was impossible for him to realize his ideals and ambitions.
Now we are here to make another effort to realize his dreams and ideals. The late President Roh, please help realize our dream to realize all these aims. Now we will never permit ourselves to fail. We will review all the things in the past 20 years, not only those of the governments of former Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye but also those of Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. And we will try to move forward to attain success.
President Roh, I truly miss you and wish to come back here to see you again, but this I will not do throughout my tenure of office until I return here after fulfillment of my duties as a successful President of the Republic of Korea. I will return to you, Mr. President, as a successful former President of Korea. Mr. President, then I would like to ask to welcome me back with a big smile, and say again: “Am I glad to see this happening!”