|An image from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party's animated clip comparing Moon to the protagonist of "The Emperor's New Clothes," from its official YouTube channel. Courtesy of the LKP|
By Park Ji-won, Kim Yoo-chul
The chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) has issued an apology over its decision to upload an animated clip satirizing President Moon Jae-in on its official YouTube channel.
"The LKP decided to delist President Moon's animated satire from the party's main webpage and official YouTube channel in the wake of the passing of President Moon's mother," LKP chief Hwang Kyo-ahn said last week.
The short video satirically portrayed the President, his handling of state affairs and controversial appointments of senior Cabinet members.
It featured Moon changing into "invisible clothes" ― a jacket dubbed "security," pants labeled "economy" and a tie described as "personnel appointment" ― just like the emperor from Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 story titled "The Emperor's New Clothes."
The climax of the animated satire shows a handcuffed former Justice Minister Cho Kuk being arrested, with the President admiring the handcuffs.
The video clip has become a source of political debate. After its release, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung told reporters that the presidential office was disappointed in the opposition party's "thoughtless decision," saying the clip would "seriously hurt" national dignity.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) immediately asked the LKP to remove the video.
"The clip was filled with shocking content including mockery and condemnation of President Moon, which is intolerable," DPK spokesman Lee Hae-sik told reporters, urging the main opposition party to take "necessary measures" and issue a public apology.
But Hwang claimed his party just described what it thinks of the incumbent South Korean leader and asked Moon and the ruling party to guarantee freedom of speech and expression.
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party joined with the ruling party to criticize the LKP, calling the satire "disgraceful." It had also criticized the DPK regarding an earlier exhibit managed by one of its representatives in 2017 that displayed a parody of Edouard Manet's popular painting "Olympia" featuring a nude woman, onto which the face of conservative then President Park Geun-hye was added.
Some lawmakers claim the culture of mockery should be rooted out of the political scene and politicians should reflect on themselves.
Stressing that the habit of continuing cheap sarcasm against each other should be corrected, Rep. Kim Su-min of the BMP said: "Satirizing any president of Korea, who is being supported or not, in an ugly way is not desirable."
The approval rate of the DPK remained at 41 percent in the first week of November, followed by the LKP with 23 percent, a weekly poll conducted by Gallup Korea showed, Friday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, with a confidence level of 95 percent, the pollster said.