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Seoul Mayor hires ultra-right YouTuber as ‘message secretary’

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (Yonhap)
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (Yonhap)
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon hired a conservative YouTuber in his 20s as his new secretary for press affairs, a move concerning to some as a sign that the mayoral office could be swayed into certain political stance under Oh’s rule.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday that the YouTuber was hired as a “message secretary” under the mayor’s office. The new hire is in charge of drafting speeches and other press materials to be released from Oh’s office until his term ends next year.

The YouTuber who has now deleted all of his uploaded videos and effectively closed the channel, which used to have around 23,000 subscribers when active. The person has no prior work experience and is known to have looked for employment outside of being a YouTuber.

The person, who participated in Oh’s Seoul mayoral campaign as an official, has maintained a politically conservative stance. He has openly voiced opposition to policies and initiatives under the Moon Jae-in administration.

As the Seoul mayor, Oh has power to hire more civil servants while in office regardless of qualifications or prior experience. But some have criticized his move as a move that could potentially turn his office’s political stance as “overly conservative.”

As the news of hire spread, the YouTuber deleted all of its videos and left the channel blank. The channel now does not show the number of subscribers, other than its registration date and accumulated number of views.

The Seoul city government explained that the YouTuber was hired as a means to help Oh better address young Seoul citizens, whose support greatly helped him win the mayoral seat against his rival Park Young-sun from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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