Three hundred meters. From Seoul Square to Gwanghwamun Square. The psychological, if not cognitive, distance between the two, however, is far wider than the physical.
While those who gathered around Gwanghwamun, with trademark candles in their hands, call for the impeachment of President Park, those who gathered in front of City Hall vehemently counter what the candlelights demand.
Taegeukgi, South Korea’s national flag, has somehow become their symbol against the candle. With the flags in hand and even worn as capes, they march against the candles.
What if young people, including R. H. Lee who tells us about her reasons for participating in the candlelight protest, try to approach them to see what they have to say, as in Song Hyejin’s piece on why even former professors and CEOs are waving the Taegeukgi? The two groups have very different views on politics and the society they cohabit.
The crevasse that cuts through the squares is so deep and wide that it will most likely remain a social issue for years.
Whether or not President Park manages to keep her throne in the upcoming decision of the constitutional court, her days as president won’t last even a year given that her official term ends next February. The crevasse, however, will remain unmoved. For more than a decade at least.
One good thing that the Taegeukgi rallies did was to make the media finally listen to what the elderly actually think. Yet far too many things are left to be done, including engaging each other and trying to stitch the great crevasse.