News & Politics

2016 Fever: South Korean Prime Minister Pelted with Eggs

2016 Fever: South Korean Prime Minister Pelted with Eggs
(Kang Jong-min/Newsis via AP)

Via The New York Times:

South Korea’s prime minister was pelted with eggs and water bottles by angry villagers on Friday as he paid a visit to the rural county chosen as the site of a planned United States missile defense system.

The visit by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn to Seongju, about 135 miles southeast of Seoul, the capital, was meant to defuse continuing opposition to the missile range. Instead, he was forced to retreat as thousands of residents who had gathered in front of Seongju’s government headquarters shouted, “Go away!” according to television footage.

Facing the crowd, Mr. Hwang said South Korea needed the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or Thaad, to defend against North Korean missiles.

He also apologized for not having explained the rationale for the deployment before the county, which has a population of about 50,000, was named as the site for the missile base on Wednesday.

Residents, many of them melon farmers, fear that the presence of the powerful radar system will threaten their health and their crops — fears that the government said were groundless. The government also promised economic aid to help assuage concerns that a new military base would undermine the local economy.

None of these assurances appeased residents on Friday.

Confronted with a barrage of eggs, water bottles and boos, Mr. Hwang was forced to duck behind shields and umbrellas raised by bodyguards and retreat into the government building. Some people threw salt, a practice that rural South Koreans believe helps dispel evil spirits.

It may be all the rage to talk about how contentious and weird American politics are these days but it’s always good to remember that our weird is the norm in some other countries.

That may be a good thing.

Think about it: If we could vent our frustrations by throwing the occasional egg or twelve at our elected leaders we might all be in a better mood. It has to be more cathartic than a Twitter rant or an overdone “OBAMA EVIL AND STUFF!” Facebook meme, right? We could even use some of that farm subsidy tax money that pays farmers to do nothing to pay them to raise chickens just to produce eggs for throwing.

I’m trying to be solutions-oriented here, people.

We would all do well to read a little more about politics all over the world throughout recent history too. In the first volume of William Manchester’s “Last Lion” trilogy biography of Churchill, he tells of women’s suffrage supporters spitting on and trying to whip Churchill and his wife while he was campaigning for parliament.

Now, I’m not advocating for the whipping or the spitting.

The eggs would be nice though.

I think that’s the Secret Service at my door…