South Korea’s New President Must Challenge the North: Op-Ed by Prof.Lee

The New York Times

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Park Geun-Hye, who was elected yesterday to be South Korea’s first female president, will also become the first elected female leader anywhere in the Confucian civilization, which consists of China, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, and makes up nearly a quarter of the world’s population.

Yet the mark she puts on history will not be determined by her gender, or even by the domestic policies she campaigned on. It will depend on how successfully she can address the greatest moral challenge to the Korean nation: alleviating the tremendous suffering of fellow Koreans in North Korea, who are perhaps the most systematically oppressed people in the world today.

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