The Wall Street Journal on Saturday (local time) featured the story of two new National Assembly members elected directly by South Korean voters at the April 15 general elections. The two North Korean defectors ran for the elections this year as members of South Korea’s main opposition United Future Party. Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean diplomat, was elected a representative of Seoul’s Gangnam district, while Ji Seong-ho who used to be a street orphan won a seat as a proportional representative of the party.
The newspaper reported that the two North Korean defectors’ victory in the elections showed a lesson about democracy in an article titled “Democracy, Gangnam Style.” “While Kim Jong Un was busy testing missiles this week, another North Korean was making news in the South. Mr. Thae is the new member from Seoul’s fashionable Gangnam district. If that name rings a bell, you may be one of the 3.5 billion people who have watched the music video ‘Gangnam Style’ on YouTube.”
According to the report, the two opposing party members pledged to put forward stringent North Korea policy. “Mr. Thae has often said he believes the North Korean people will rise up to overturn the regime that keeps them in chains. If so, he and Mr. Ji will be well-placed to help their former countrymen understand how democracy works,” said The Wall Street Journal. “The affluent lifestyle portrayed in the ‘Gangnam Style’ video is outside the ken of all but the few North Koreans who travel in Kim family circles. Most struggle to feed themselves and their families.”