Generational Divide in Queens on Park’s Impeachment

Ted Han placed an advertisement celebrating the U.S.-South Korea alliance at the intersection of Northern and Parsons boulevards in Flushing. (Photo provided to Queens Chronicle)

Reaction in Queens to the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye mostly falls along generational lines, finds Ryan Brady in a Queens Chronicle story.

Assembly member Ron Kim of Flushing, who was born in Seoul, tells the paper that age plays a big factor in whether one supports the decision, or not, to oust Park following a corruption scandal.

“Well, I think the community is split in our neighborhoods,” he told the Chronicle. “Some of the older Korean Americans, first-generation ones, I think they feel more sympathetic toward the president who was recently impeached, while the younger generation was encouraged by the whole process.”

Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Choe, who was born in Korea, noted that those who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1960s and early 1970s grew up during the Korean War.

“There was this sense of you had to come together as a country to support the regeneration of Koreans and even though at that time South Korea was ruled by a military dictatorship, there is a lot of nostalgia for that period because it was the beginning of Korea’s rise as an economic power,” said Choe, whose father fought in Vietnam. The disgraced former president’s father, the dictator Park Chung-Hee, oversaw explosive economic growth.

Bayside resident Ted Han “blames the anti-Park Koreans’ political views on their age.”

“These young kids, they have the fantasy, ‘Oh, unification is good,’” he said. That view, he added, is one North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his lieutenants want people to have.

And older Koreans have longer memories.

“They know what communism was,” the Bayside resident said. And although the peninsula is no longer war-ravaged, serious concerns have been raised by recent tensions.

He voiced his concerns about Moon Jae-in, who could become South Korea’s next president, and called him a “quasi-communist” who is “to the left of North Korea.”

The businessman, who runs Bridge Enterprises, a promotional products company, has put up paid public advertisements in Queens and Manhattan celebrating the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea, and calling on China to reject North Korea’s nuclear program at the UN Security Council. Other ads of his praise the election of Donald Trump and “the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Imperial Japan by the United States.”

For much more on reaction to President Park’s impeachment, tensions between North and South Korea, as well as details on a growing community in NYC, purportedly with origins in North Korea, go to Queens Chronicle.

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