March 05, 2020 10:17
Disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye has emerged from an epic sulk to urge supporters Wednesday to rally behind the opposition.
"I urge all of you to pool your strength and become one under the banner of taegeukgi (Korea's national flag) centering on the massive opposition as we did before in order to achieve a better Korea," Park said in a handwritten letter from jail.
The letter was made public by her lawyer, Yoo Yeong-ha. It was Park's first public utterance since she was indicted in March 2017.
"Although my political journey came to a halt after my impeachment and arrest, I have been overwhelmed by worries even in jail because the North Korea's nuclear threat and worsening relations with our allies would make our country's future uncertain," she wrote.
"Many people have complained that the inept, hypocritical and self-righteous ruling powers have made people's lives increasingly difficult, while hope is fading."
Referring to Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province, which are both hotbeds of coronavirus infection and her former political stronghold, Park said, "It truly breaks my heart. I hope you will be able to endure."
Park also took time to chide those left to sweep up the mess her toxic vaudeville regime had left behind.
"I was disappointed by the huge opposition camp, which seems to be more interested in realigning themselves for political gain as the country faces an unprecedented crisis, while the public is suffering," she said. "But I understood this is an unavoidable choice to expand the opposition force."
It was a thinly veiled call for the splintered remains of her old party to unite under a single banner amid merger talks between what are now the United Future, Liberty Republican and New Pro-Park parties.
The UFP and LRP welcomed Park's message, vowing to join hands to pressure the Moon Jae-in administration, which is facing increasing disillusionment among voters for the way it handled the coronavirus outbreak.
But other opposition politicians apparently felt it would be wiser to keep their distance.
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