SEOUL – South Korea on Tuesday demanded that the Sankei Shimbun delete an online column that likens President Park Geun-hye to the Joseon Dynasty’s Queen Min, who was assassinated by Japanese.
A trial is taking place in South Korea for Tatsuya Kato, a former Seoul bureau chief of the Sankei Shimbun, who is accused of defaming Park in a column he wrote last year.
According to the newspaper, an official of the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo visited its head office in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The latest column shows a lack of understanding and a perception gap regarding South Korea’s diplomacy and policies, the official told the Sankei, expressing concerns about the negative effects of the article on relations between the two countries.
Citing Park’s planned participation in a military parade that China will conduct Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of its victory in the war against Japan, the column by a Sankei political department senior writer said South Korean diplomacy was based on toadyism, in which a weak country followed a powerful one.
The column named the 19th-century queen as a woman in authority who is like Park. With her strong power, Queen Min tried to maintain the dynasty by approaching Qing, or the last dynasty of China, Japan and Russia in turn, but was assassinated by the Japanese in 1895.
South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party has condemned the column and demanded an apology, saying that degrading the president was tantamount to a terrorist attack against South Korean citizens.
The column does not deserve a comment at the government level, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said, slamming the writer for indulging in shameless claims about history.
South Korean media organizations have also criticized the column, calling it absurd.