Several candidates in Wednesday’s local elections caught the attention of the public due to their names.
These candidates had the same names as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, former President Park Geun-hye and Park’s father Park Chung-hee. The Korean spellings of the names were identical, though they were romanized differently.
In particular, Kim Jong-un, a female candidate for the Mapo-gu local elections, became a trending topic. The US-North Korea summit took place a day before the elections, boosting the publicity of the candidate on Korean online search portals.
Screenshot of candidate Kim Jong-un (Naver)
Meanwhile, Park Geun-hye, 29, was elected by proportional representation through the Busan National Election Commission to be the district councilor for Geumjeong-gu, Busan.
“Sharing the same name as Park Geun-hye could increase voters’ awareness, but there could also be negative aspects,” said Park in an interview with Kyunghyang Shinmun. The former president was impeached over a corruption scandal. Unlike the ousted president, this 29-year-old is from the liberal Democratic Party.
Three candidates had the same name as Park Chung-hee.
Park Jung-hee from the Democratic Party won the election in Buk-gu, Daegu, on Wednesday. Another candidate with the same name from the opposition Liberty Korea Party won the election in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
By Chyung Eun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org