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President`s tears

Posted May. 20, 2014 14:56,   


The late former President Roh Moo-hyun frequently shed tears in public. While emphasizing others is natural, it is still important that leaders should be distant from expressing emotions. Former President Lee Myung-bak showed tears at the ceremonial hall for victims of the sinking of vessel Cheonan. While his devastated feeling is understandable, his tears were not a dignified attitude as a commander-in-chief of the nation`s forces.

Leadership qualities of women are similar to those of men in Western countries. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was called the "Iron Lady" and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is called "Thatcher of Germany." American people hoped Hillary Clinton to be Thatcher of the U.S. On a question "Who does your hair" at a Democratic president candidate nomination campaign in 2008, Hillary shed tears saying it was not easy. This seemed to help her regain support but she gave impression as being not as strong to become president and thus failed.

On the ferry Sewol wreck, President Park Geun-hye was criticized for not showing tears. Some people lashed out at her by saying that she is ice princess lacking emotion and she doesn`t know the pain because she doesn`t have child. Everyone in Korea is sad at the fact that high school students were facing dead while trusting adults` wrong guide. It must have been the same for the president. She deserved credit for suppressing emotions.

She ultimately showed tears at her address to the public Monday. She must have choked up with emotions while she was speaking about the students and crews who took off their life vests to others but eventually died. Still, some people criticized her for maximizing political impact by tears, saying that it is a political show since she cried when the Grand National Party set up party tent. Nevertheless, the president is the one who should never show tears, but should wipe tears.

Editorial writer Song Pyeong-in (pisong@donga.com)