In the last several years, a lagging global economy has forced out ruling parties in several countries: France, Italy and Japan, just to name a few. Not so in South Korea.
There, in Wednesday's presidential election, the New Frontier Party of incumbent President Lee Myung-bak clung to power by a slim margin. Park Geun-hye, the daughter of a controversial former president, barely prevailed over Moon Jae-in, the candidate of the main opposition party and the son of North Korean refugees.
"The economic situation in Korea is not that grave," said Sung-Yoon Lee, an assistant professor of Korean studies at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. "Yet there is the perception that income inequality, in terms of distribution, the gap between the rich and poor, has increased dramatically. That people are out of work, that young people out of college are unable to find work, employment and so forth."
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