Following his official announcement on Tuesday to run for the presidential office after 118 days of staying quiet since his resignation as a prosecutor general, Yoon Seok-youl heavily criticized the Moon Jae-in administration with determined expressions on his face and a strong language. “A small number of cartels surrounding political power and interests have privatized power,” said Yoon. The presidential candidate directly criticized the 586 activist group, which is the core group of the current administration, and put forward the change of government as the top priority task and the recovery of fairness and common sense as his vision.
At a Tuesday press conference to declare his presidential bid held in the Yun Bong-gil Memorial Hall in Seocho, Seoul, Yoon spent half of his time on criticizing the key policies of the Moon administration, such as income-led growth, real estate policies, prosecution reform, and nuclear power plant reduction. “Income-led growth ignoring all common economic sense, real estate policies fighting against the market, nuclear power plant reduction that disregarded relevant laws and cause the world-leading technologies to degrade, and populism policies similar to vote-buying have caused suffering to countless young people, small business owners, small- and medium-sized companies, and low-wage workers,” said the former prosecutor general. “Young people who can’t even find decent jobs due to the soaring government debt took a tremendous amount of future debt. The frustration of the youth is pushing South Korea to the demographic cliff,” he added, trying to appeal to the voters in their 20s and 30s.
“The administration divided South Korean people and disregarded common sense, fairness, and the rule of law, collapsing the foundation of the country and frustrating and angering people,” Yoon also said. “The administration does not stop at the privatization of power. It is trying to extend its control of power and continue to plunder people. A food chain of a paralyzed sense of responsibility and morality has been constructed,” he criticized. “They are trying to remove ‘free’ from free democracy, the basis of South Korea’s Constitution. Democracy without freedom is a dictatorship. They should not be tolerated anymore,” he added. “We should change the government by cooperating with all South Korean people and forces.”
Yoon made it clear at the press conference that the biggest reasons for him to run for the presidential office are to judge the Moon administration and change the administration, which seems to be in consideration of the need to satisfy the desire of anti-Moon forces for the change of administration and political controversies surrounding his decision to declare presidential bid right after his resignation as a prosecutor general.
“We should make it clear to the international community that South Korea is based on the common values of a civilized country,” said Yoon regarding the current administration’s diplomacy with the U.S. and China. “We should show the clear identity of what kind of country South Korea is in order to provide predictability to enemies and friends, as well as competitors and partners.” On the strained relations between South Korea and Japan, he said that despite the fact that diplomacy should be based on pragmatism, empirical tradition, and realism, the current administration remained ideologically biased and ended up in the situation like now.
“While gross real estate tax should be reexamined thoroughly, the current administration only says there is no need to worry as only the wealthy will have to pay high taxes in response to negative reactions of people to gross real estate tax,” Yoon criticized the administration’s housing policies. He added that he wants to focus on sustainability with regard to welfare and growth.
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