S. Korean presidential candidate wants unification

Featured - July 17th, 2012
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Presidential hopeful Sohn Hak-kyu was dubbed the “Impossible Dream” candidate after stating his ‘idealistic’ pledges at the Seoul Foreign Correspondent’s Club on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sohn is the forerunner of the Democratic United Party and running second in presidential polls, after New Frontier Party candidate Park Geun-hye. Sohn promised two visionary futures for South Korea – a business culture “with a promise of an evening” so that fathers can spend time with their families, and a “de facto reunification” with the North. According to the Journal, both are beautiful futures but would need a 360-degree turn and an even greater change among existing power structures.

Sohn plans to cut back on working hours and demand companies reduce overtime, in a move that could alter South Korea’s deep-seated work and family culture. Just half of South Korean women work while men often work late, leaving weekends as the only time for family.

Sohn’s plans for reunification with North Korea are part of an even more idealistic vision, according to the Journal. Ties between the two Koreas have been severed since the Korean war. Both sides have showcased military might that provoked the other and escalated tensions. Sohn stated that he envisioned a united Korea playing a neutral role between the US and China.