Presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party speaks to a crowd at a canvassing event in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
The presidential office and main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol are once again wrangling over words, this time over Yoon’s comparison of the current administration to past fascist regimes.
Speaking at a canvassing event on Thursday, Yoon of the People Power Party hit out at the incumbent Moon Jae-in government for “blaming others for their faults, and making up sins” of other people.
“(Moon’s administration) puts blame on others to cover their own faults and fabricates sins of others to instigate opposition against them. This is the method used by fascists or communists, like Hitler and Mussolini,” Yoon said, referring to Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini in his speech to a crowd of supporters in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province.
Yoon’s comment comes on the heels of last week’s dispute with President Moon Jae-in when he said he would order a probe into Moon administration for corruption and irregularities if elected president. Moon lambasted the statement, and demanded an apology.
Over Yoon’s statement on Thursday, the presidential office said Yoon had “crossed a line.”
“The president has asked for a fair and safe election, and is doing his best to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and recover the country’s economy, but Yoon’s (accusation) has gone way too far,” a senior presidential official told Yonhap News Agency.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea also denounced Yoon as “contradicting himself,” having formerly served as the chief of Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, and then prosecutor general under the Moon administration to lead corruption investigations into Moon’s predecessors, Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak.
“(If Moon is a fascist), why didn’t Yoon disobey the president’s order or quit? Is he saying he was a puppet for a fascist?” said Choo Mi-ae, honorary chief of the campaign team for presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung of the ruling party and a former minister for Justice.
“Yoon was at the center spearheading those corruption investigations as the chief prosecutor. ... It is inhumane for Yoon to call the president, who had trusted him, a ‘deep-rooted evil,’ and say he would conduct a corruption investigation,” Choo said in a radio interview on Friday.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org