New York Times Ad Condemns Park Geun Hye Administration over Sewol Tragedy

D-Bo , May 13, 2014, 9:53 a.m.

An ad placed in the New York Times is garnering attention in the Korean American community.  A group of Korean-Americans on Sunday placed a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, publicly condemning the Park Geun-hye government over the ferry disaster and claiming that the media was being controlled to conceal the truth behind the failed rescue operation.

In the ad, titled “Bring the Truth to Light,” they said that “not one was rescued” because of South Korean government’s “incompetence and negligence” and its inadequate emergency protocol and improper communication between agencies.  “The bungled rescue efforts demonstrated a lack of leadership, incompetence, and negligence of the Park administration,” it said.

The advertisement was proposed and carried out by a group of Koreans in Los Angeles, according to reports. They have raised more than $160,000 from about 4,000 people through an online site. Organizers spent $5,800 to place the NYT ad and are reportedly planning to run similar ads with other mainstream media outlets in the U.S. Reports also said they would hold a rally in East Coast cities in the U.S. to commemorate the Sewol victims and to protest against the Park government.

Koreans have been placing ads in the NYT in recent years to draw international attention to politically sensitive issues, such as the dispute over the Dokdo islets, and to promote the country’s cultural heritage. The Sewol ad was the first case of Korean-Americans expressing anger against the Park administration.

They said in the ad that Koreans were outraged by President Park, but said that the criticism was being “silenced by the government censorship of South Korea’s mainstream media.”

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