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KBS Still Won’t Air Talk Show Episode Featuring Park Geun-hye

KBS Still Won’t Air Talk Show Episode Featuring Park Geun-hye

Posted August. 29, 2005 03:07,   


“So, I heard the President’s daughter goes to your school?” said the clippie.

“Yes,” answered Park Geun-hye.

“But they say she takes the bus to and from school. Is she good at studying?”

“She’s pretty good, I guess.”

That is a conversation between Grand National Party (GNP) leader Park Geun-hye and a clippie that took place on a bus in the late 1960s while Park was on her way from Cheong Wa Dae to her school, Seongsim Girls’ High School.

Park shared this episode while she was taping an episode for “Take it Easy with Lee Hong-Lyol and Park Joo-mee” of KBS 2TV on the afternoon of October 25, 2004. The program never aired.

According to a behind-the-scenes story that GNP spokesperson Chun Yeo-ok posted on the party’s website on Thursday, Park accepted a pleading invitation from the program’s outsourced producer and taped the show for about five hours at a wedding hall in Namsan, Seoul.

When singer Kim Heung-gook, a surprise guest, asked Park to sing along her favorite song, “When Love Comes to Me,” she took the microphone. Park also shared her personal stories about memories of her mother Yook Young-soo and her feelings for her younger siblings after they lost their parents.

The episode was planned to air about two weeks later, but that did not happen. The producer sent an e-mail to Chun which read, “It seems difficult for Ms. Park’s exclusive appearance to [go on air]. The broadcast system won’t give us airtime. I’m sorry.” When Park was told of the message, she did not seem frustrated so Chun did not protest to KBS.

Senior Producer Han Sang-gil of the outsourced team of KBS, who is in charge of the program, said Sunday that “we wanted to invite leaders from other parties as well, but they did not accept our invitation so we couldn’t air Ms. Park’s episode. Another reason the show was never aired was that we were a bit worried about the possible political misunderstandings that Ms. Park’s episode could have created should it have gone on air, considering the then controversy over Ms. Park and the issues of past history.”

The GNP sent Lee Won-goon, Managing Director of KBS, an official letter on Thursday, asking him to “give Ms. Park, the leader of the nation’s largest opposition, the same chance President Roh Moo-hyun was given to speak to the public.”

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com zozo@donga.com