[2017 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION] Meet the Candidates #5 Superwoman, Simcrush Justice Party SIM Sang-jung


Eleven days to go. In less that eleven days time, the nation
will head to the polls to elect a president. It’s a presidential election taking place
in this nice, spring weather for the first time in South Korea’s election history. It’s an election that precipitated from a
sudden impeachment of ex-president over an alleged bribery scandal. And, now Koreans will have to make a decision
based on a cut-short verification period. To help you better analyze each candidate,
we’ve been meeting with the candidates. Today, I sit down with the presidential nominee
of Justice Party, Sim Sang-jung. Notice: Airdates of Bareun Party and Justice
Party nominees have been switched due to filming dates. Sim Sang-jung, presidential nominee for the
progressive Justice Party running in South Korea’s 2017 presidential election, thank
you for squeezing time out of your absolutely hectic campaigning schedule. You’ve been a prominent labor activist and
you are a three-term lawmaker. Why are you running for the presidency this
time around? Over the last five months nearly 17 million
candles were lit across this nation. The Korean people came together to voice their
disappointment. They cried, “What kind of a country is this? Let us survive together.” My goal is to boldly reform the current, 60-year
old political system and transform Korea into a nation of justice and equality, where anyone
and everyone can make a living if he or she works hard. I decided to run for president to fulfill
the desires of the Korean people. Your campaign slogan is “A nation where labor
is dignified.” Explain to us, what is a country where labor
is dignified? Korea has been constantly undergoing change
over the past 60 years; 30 years of industrialization and 30 years of democratization. Through those changes Korea has now become
one of the top ten economic powers in the world and the nation’s per capita income has
increased by about 400 times over the course of 60 years. It is safe to say that no other nation in
the world has ever achieved such rapid economic growth and no other nation will ever be able
to top that record either. But the important thing is that the majority
of Koreans are not happy. Of the 20 million salaried workers, 10 million
barely earn an average of US$ 2,000 per month. As for medium and small traders and manufacturers,
one in three can barely make US$ 1,000 per month. And, the farmers in this country make an average
of only US$ 940 per month. Such struggles faced by the Korean people
are all due to the policies made by the government in favor of the chaebol. The Korean government has treated labor as
merely an expense to fulfill their needs and solely focused on the growth of the chaebol. A democracy without respect for its laborers
cannot create a society where the majority of people can live happily. First and foremost, it is my goal to reform
the conglomerates that have held so much power over the past 60 years to create a Korea where
we can get rid of temporary positions and provide our youth with quality jobs. Economic growth and jobs. I think it’s an issue that comes up every
election season and not only here but all across the globe. Do you have a blueprint of how you would steer
Asia’s fourth-largest economy so that the benefits will trickle down to the ordinary
people, too? First of all, we are all well aware that the
4th Industrial Revolution is quickly becoming a reality. Therefore, I strongly believe we need to invest
in ecological economics and in developing new, renewable energy sources. Just as former president Park Chung-hee built
the Gyeongbu Expressway back in the 70s to facilitate high-speed growth, and just as
former president Kim Dae-jung installed fiber optic cables to make Korea a leading nation
in IT, I pledge to set up “solar electric charge stations” nationwide and promote the
use of new and renewable energy sources to usher in the age of ecological economics. Second, it is important to note that the manufacturing
industry is lagging behind. By implementing the changes that the 4th Industrial
revolution will bring about, I will modernize the manufacturing industry with cutting edge
technology and make it more service-oriented to bring about a second revival of manufacturing. And most importantly, I will establish an
SME cluster to strengthen SMEs by having companies work together with the Korean people to promote
growth from the bottom up. When it comes to improving the economy, my
plan is to start by supporting the Korean people, with the goal of increasing the GDP
by at least 10%. Finally, my vision for the Korean economy
lies in peace. I aim to promote peaceful economic relations
across the Korean Peninsula, a system that I hope will eventually reach out all the way
out to Europe. The Korean peninsula at the moment is under
international radar. There’s been a rapid escalation of tensions
in this part of the world. Continuous provocations by North Korean regime. What is your policy vis-a-vis Pyongyang? Above all else, I aim to cooperate with our
allies and the international community to ensure that any strategic military decisions
in response to provocations from North Korea will not result in a crisis situation. On that note, as president I will not simply
seek a countermeasure to the nuclear issue of North Korea, but rather a fundamental solution. There are clearly limitations to military
action as even U.S. President Trump has said he would no longer take a strategic approach
in dealing with North Korea, Military actions and THAAD are not enough
in dealing with the North’s nuclear issue. That is why my immediate plan is to engage
in peaceful diplomacy to freeze the North’s nuclear programs with the ultimate goal of
denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. A North Korean nuclear freeze entails putting
a stop to any nuclear and missile tests essentially removing future nuclear weapons. The second step in this denuclearization process
would be to negotiate any measures with Kim Jong-un to remove any existing nuclear weapons. This is not only my idea, but also one proposed
by the impeached former-president Park. To conclude, I will promote a step-by-step
process to achieve denuclearization which I consider to be the fundamental solution
to this issue. On the diplomatic front – South Korea not
in the best situation currently. There is a new president in the White House
– very different from the last president with a seemingly different approach to the North
Korea issue. There is China to the north, in a clash of
interest with South Korea. How would you best situate yourself so that
South Korea puts the best foot forward in this complex relationship? The peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula
has now become an international problem. However since South Korea has been walking
on eggshells between the U.S. and China, the nation’s diplomatic relations with neighboring
countries has been deteriorating. I would like to say that South Korea is in
the crisis of falling down because previous governments couldn’t make up their minds on
which super power to side with. What I want to emphasize today is that the
Republic of Korea currently has no voice when it comes to the issue surrounding the Korean
Peninsula despite the fact that this is its own problem. And so, I will create set a new stage wherein
South Korea can take an active role in deciding the future of the peninsula. I will do this by first making the U.S. and
China ensure peace within the peninsula by acting as facilitators. After this, I will also open an Asian chapter
of the Helsinki Process which will strive to balance the strategic benefits of neighboring
world powers. Now, my final question – a common question
to all candidates. Why does the Republic of Korea need Sim Sang-jung
as president in 2017? I have a message I would like to send to our
nation’s voters in and out of the country. Up to this point, South Koreans have had the
tendency to support the leading candidate when it comes to voting. But where did these leading candidates guide
the nation to? How has South Korea changed? I want you to think about it carefully. There is no such thing as a wasted vote. I want all of you to reflect on whether it
is really worth it to vote for the second-best candidate just for the sake of a party change
in power. Take a minute to contemplate whether your
lives have changed as a result of such a decision when you vote in this election. Some worry that your vote will go to waste
if you vote for me, but I assure you once again; there is no wasted vote. I believe a wasted vote is one that’s just
given to the one leading opinion surveys. I hold the key to reforming the nation. If my approval rate turns out to be low, I
would like to stress, in that instance, whoever else ends up becoming the next president can
easily betray the public sentiment represented by candlelights. I, Sim Sang-jung, will make the Republic of
Korea a place where laborers can stand up for themselves. I will make our nation a place where the youth
can fall in love again. I ask for your full support, and promise to
become a president who works toward changing your lives. Thank you.

About the author

Comments

  1. I love her so much, I wish she was doing better in the polls ;^;
    She would do great things for South Korea……;;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *