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President Moon and the mountain

11 0 8
22.02.2020
President Moon Jae-in still has a mountain to climb to achieve his goals. / Korea Times file
By Amanda Price

For any president or world leader there is a point when you need to look over your shoulder to see how far up the mountain you've climbed.

It is a daunting moment. Either there is a sense of achievement as you gaze down at a faraway ground, or a shocking realization that you're not high enough to hurt yourself if you fall.

President Moon Jae-in, halfway through his term, has arrived at that moment of self-assessment.

There is one thing that he will be able to say with absolute certainty and that is, with regard to integrity, he has climbed higher than his predecessors, many of whom were embroiled or accused of being embroiled in corruption and abuse of power.

His immediate predecessor, ex-President Park Geun-hye, is still in prison and, without a presidential pardon, is likely to die there. Moon has certainly climbed higher than that.

By comparison to his predecessors, Moon has been a remarkable president. Were he to be awarded with presidential titles, he would easily receive the following trophies: "The Most Popular President", "The Most Affable President"; "The Most Well-Intentioned President"; "The Most Everyman President"; "The Most Uncomfortable with Fame President", "The Most Family Man President" and "The Most Conciliatory (unless your Japanese) President".

Most agree he is a good man and undoubtedly the most widely respected democratic president that Korea has known.

As Moon looks over his shoulder, only a few will know for certain what he thinks of his ascent. But this does mean we are left in the dark.
The meter by which we, "the people," measure these "top to bottom" distances is determined by "outcomes," or more specifically, the fulfillment of campaign promises.

Had Moon's primary campaign promise been that he would actively and ardently pursue reconciliation with North Korea, or rather Kim Jong-un, even at the expense of the internal affairs of South Korea, then Moon would unquestionably be close to the summit.

This, however, was not one of his promises.

Rather, Moon campaigned on a platform of promises that included a primary focus on eradicating society of its systematized injustices, improving the living standards of all, and rooting out corruption until the government was as transparent as........

© The Korea Times