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S.Korea Coronavirus Outrage Triggers 1.4 Million-Strong Impeachment Vote

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:37 PM
Joseph Young
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:37 PM
  • Public anger against the government’s coronavirus response sees a petition for the impeachment of South Korean President Moon Jae-in surpassed 1.4 million votes.
  • The government is under fire after several controversial statements outraged millions of people.
  • This week, the Health and Welfare minister said the biggest cause of coronavirus outbreak in South Korea are Korean nationals that came from Wuhan, not China.

A petition calling for the impeachment of South Korean President  Moon Jae-in has surpassed 1.4 million voters. In South Korea, if a petition released on the Blue House’s forum reaches 100,000 votes, the government is required to respond.

Source: Screenshot/President.go.kr

The South Korean government has been under intense scrutiny for its weak response when the coronavirus outbreak was first reported. 

Why the Petition Exploded in a Short Period

Petitioners are primarily upset with the South Korean government’s reluctance to impose heavy travel restrictions on Chinese nationals. 

The petitioner pointed out that South Korea allowed Chinese nationals to enter the country even after 62 countries placed travel restrictions on individuals who visited China after the coronavirus outbreak occurred.

The petition claims that 20,000 Chinese nationals are still entering South Korea on a daily basis.

Finally, the petition references South Korea’s mask shortage. President Moon supplied China with three million masks when the mask shortage in South Korea was hitting its peak.

Moon Jae-in, Coronavirus
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is under intense scrutiny over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak. | Source: Shutterstock.com

The Nail in the Coffin For the South Korean GovernmentA critical event that occurred after the petition was officially released on the forum of Blue House further encouraged hundreds of thousands of people to vote in favor of impeaching the President.

Earlier this week, millions of people criticized South Korea’s Health and Welfare Minister, politicians from all parties, and the media for stating that the cause of coronavirus was South Koreans that came from Wuhan, not China. 

It led to an upsurge of votes on the petition, as people increasingly agreed with the petitioner’s statement that read:

It is now difficult to consider President Moon as the President of South Korea.

After the statement of the Health and Welfare minister was released, the petition garnered 400,000 more votes in less than five days, reaching 1.4 million.

Anger over coronavirus by the South Korean people is not subsiding

The rating of President Moon Jae-in is plummeting to record lows. The frustration towards the Moon administration is unlikely to subside in the near-term. 

Long lines of people trying to obtain masks at heightened prices are showing no signs of dropping off, and the anger towards the administration for sending millions of masks to China has intensified in the past two weeks.

The government has continuously issued questionable statements, making it difficult for the annoyance of the public with the administration to settle.

For instance, this week, the government said that hospitals which are running out of protective equipment such as Level D coveralls can wear medical gowns instead,

Although the government responded stating that it meant to say a complete kit that includes medical gowns, medical analysts have said that the kit cannot protect medical employees  in the way a Level D protective equipment can, which employees are currently using.