Opposition’s Yoon Suk-yeol wins South Korea’s presidential election

The opposition conservative Yoon Suk-yeol has won South Korea’s presidential election, Yonhap reported early Thursday, propelling a political novice and avowed anti-feminist to the helm of Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, a presidential candidate of the People Power Party, gets out of the car holding a Bible to attend a religious service at Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul on October 10. National Assembly press photographers

After a bitter, hard-fought election campaign, Yoon, formerly a top government prosecutor who has never held elected office, was declared winner early Thursday after rival Lee Jae-myung from the incumbent Democratic Party conceded defeat.

“This is a victory of the great South Korean people,” Yoon told cheering supporters, who were chanting his name at the country’s National Assembly.

Despite a campaign dominated by mud-slinging between frontrunners Yoon and Lee, voter turnout was 77.1 percent, including record early voting, with interest strong and the policy stakes high in the country of some 52 million.

The two parties are ideologically poles apart, and Yoon’s victory looks set to usher in a more hawkish, fiscally conservative regime after five years under outgoing President Moon Jae-in’s dovish liberals.

It is also a dramatic victory for the opposition People Power party, who were left in disarray in 2017 after their president Park Gung-hye was impeached.

It could restart the “cycle of revenge” in South Korea’s famously adversarial politics, analysts say, where presidents serve just a single term of five years and every living former leader has been jailed for corruption after leaving office.

On the campaign trail, Yoon had threatened to investigate outgoing President Moon Jae-in, citing unspecified “irregularities”.

But in his victory speech, he struck a more conciliatory tone, telling the country after a divisive race: “The competition is over now, and everyone must make joint efforts to become one.”

Yoon Seok-youl Goes to Church with a Bible, Sings Hymns

Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, a candidate in the People Power Party primary, attended church services holding a Bible on October 10. He clapped as he sang hymns and prayed. Previously, Yoon was at the center of controversy for shamanism when he attended a debate with the Chinese character for king written on his palm. The latest action appears to be intended to silence the controversy and attract the votes of Christians.

Yoon Seok-youl chose the church as the destination of his first public action after he entered the People Power Party presidential primaries. On Sunday, he visited the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul. He got out of the car holding a Bible and during the service he bowed and prayed. He also clapped along the hymns and after the service, met with Lee Young-hoon, the senior pastor of the Full Gospel Church.

Reverend Lee said, “I wish people who become leaders of our country would not argue over trivial matters,” and added, “I hope they will give the people dreams and hope.” He then prayed for Yoon and said, “May the Lord make him useful in bringing the nation together and prevent him from repeating the mistake of returning to the past.” Yoon Seok-youl responded by saying, “Thank you for the service. I will heed the words of the pastor.”

This day, Yoon posted a picture from his childhood taken at church on his social media account. He added the words, “Summer Bible School days when Seok-youl used to eat three bowls of rice a meal.”

Such actions seem to be an effort to escape the attacks of shamanism. Earlier, Yoon appeared in three TV debates of the party primary candidates with the Chinese character, wang (王), which means king, written on his palm. This led to suspicions of a shamanic spell. Afterwards, he came under fire for alleged shamanism due to his meeting with Master Cheon Gong, who gives Jungbub (the principles for a person to live properly) lectures, and acupuncture sessions on a particular body part. The latest actions by Yoon seem to have been motivated by concerns that religious voters including Christian voters might turn away due to the allegations of shamanism.

CPAC panelists warn South Korea ‘in danger’ of falling under ‘communist’ rule

A North Korean defector argues that the democratic country of South Korea is in danger of becoming a communist state due to the possibility of a “pro-China” and “pro-North Korea” candidate winning the upcoming presidential election.

The 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists, held its first full day of programming Thursday. For the second year in a row, the conference took place in Orlando, Florida, instead of National Harbor, Maryland, where it had taken place in previous years.

The first full day of the conference occurred as Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday. One of the first panels at this year’s conference was titled “I Escaped Communist North Korea.” However, it began with a brief discussion from national security experts KT McFarland and Gordon Chang on Russia before North Korean defector Lee Hyun-Seung was introduced.

Lee, who now goes by the name “Arthur,” works for KCPAC, the Korean equivalent of CPAC. He didn’t mince words about the direction he thinks South Korea is headed, although it’s been an American ally for many years.

In a conversation on the main stage with CPAC Executive Director Dan Schneider, Lee lamented that “the President of South Korea [Moon Jae-in] is a socialist” and “the candidate to replace the current socialist is a communist [Lee-Jae Myung].”

During the talk, Schneider reported that “that communist has closer ties to the Chinese Communist Party and to North Korea than to the U.S.”

The South Korean presidential election, scheduled to take place on March 9, is a faceoff between the Democratic Party of Korea candidate Lee-Jae Myung and People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol.

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