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Controversy and internal squabbling erupted within SKorea's main opposition party - the United Future Party - after former National Assemblyman Jeong Byeong-guk suggested that the party removes the portraits of former presidents Syngman Rhee, Park Chung Hee, and Kim Young Sam.
Syngman Rhee is SKorea's first president. He was an authoritarian leader who oversaw SKorea's fight against NKorea during the Korean War. His government was also corrupt and was also responsible for gross human rights abuses (see Jeju Uprising).…
Park Chung Hee was SKorea's strongman and dictator. While many conservatives like to remember Park as the leader who helped to transition SKorea into the modern economic powerhouse it is today, he was also responsible for gross human rights abuses.…
Kim Young Sam was the first civilian to become POTROK in over 30 years when he began his term in office in 1993. During his presidency, he launched anti-corruption measures, granted amnesty to political prisoners (especially pro-democracy protesters).
Kim Young Sam also famously talked US President Bill Clinton down from possibly starting a war with NKorea when Clinton was considering launching a military strike on NKorea for its at-the-time nascent and clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Towards the end, Kim Young Sam's presidency was overtaken by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. His government was primarily seen as incompetent in dealing with the crisis. Furthermore, his anti-corruption drive took a hit after his son was arrested for bribery and tax evasion.
Regarding their portraits, Former Assemblyman Jeong said, "The three men are regarded as the roots of the party, but they were also extremely different from one another. It is proof of conservativism lacking a coherent identity. The party... that it will only emulate the three men's positive aspects, but the public only recalls the three men's negative aspects and judges the party on those grounds."

The backlash to Jeong's suggestion was swift. Comments in response to his suggestion include:
"Right or wrong, all of that is part of our history, but Jeong wishes to deny it."

"If we remove their portraits, whose portraits will we replace them with?"

"If we removed Syngman Rhee or Park Chung Hee, can we still be conservative?"
"Kim Dae Jung suffered because he transferred money to NKorea. Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide while he was being investigated by prosecutors. Despite that, the Minjoo Party* continues to vow to continue their legacy. But our party wishes to forget our own history all too easily."
*Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo-hyun are former presidents from the Minjoo Party**. It is the current ruling majority center-left party.

**It's important to note that in SKorean politics, political parties often change their names, and new ones are often formed and merged.
Some UFP lawmakers have threatened to withdraw from the party if Jeong's recommendation was taken seriously.

It's important to point out that this internal fight is ongoing under the backdrop of the UFP trying to reform its image.
The UFP is currently led by an elder statesman, Kim Jong-in. Kim Jong-in has been actively trying to move the UFP away from its conservative past and become a more progressive-oriented party. He said he wants to make the UFP "more advanced than the progressives."
Kim Jong-in has also said, "I don't like the very word - conservative."

In recent weeks, the UFP has overtaken the ruling party in discussing issues such as universal basic income, expanding employment insurance, daycare service, and education.
On top of that, Kim Jong-in is also planning to adopt the spirit of the May 18 Movement as part of the UFP's platform.

The May 18 Movement aka the Gwangju Uprising was a popular uprising that began in the city of Gwangju in 1980.
Protesters sought an end to martial law, and demanded democratic reforms. The SKorean government responded with deadly force.

To date, many conservatives believe that the Gwangju Uprising was a communist-inspired rebellion backed by NKorea.
Changing its attitude about the Gwangju Uprising would be a fundamental shift in SKorean conservative politics, and one that would meet heavy resistance from the UFP's base.
At a time when many other countries around the world have taken on a rightward shift, SKorea is taking on the opposite track. Whether or not Kim Jong-in is successful, this marks a leftward shift in SKorean politics.

This could redefine what it means to be conservative in Korea.
Admittedly, conservativism has always had a loose definition in SKorea. It's only constant has been that it is anti-NKorean. It's possible than in the next ten years, SKorean conservativism might not be recognizable by any past standard.
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