First lady’s return sparks debate

First lady Kim Keon Hee, left, walks with Cambodian first lady  Pech Chanmony, right, for a luncheon at the presidential office in Yongsan District, Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of presidential office

First lady Kim Keon Hee finds herself at the heart of a heated political debate as she prepares to resume official appearances following nearly five months of maintaining a low profile, evading opposition-led offensives concerning allegations surrounding her.During an interview with broadcaster MBC, Friday, minor opposition Reform Party Chairman Lee Jun-seok said, “She should understand that pending political problems such as special counsel probe bills stem from her own actions.”“It would be inappropriate to tell the first lady to do nothing, so I hope she will engage in volunteer work or fulfill the diplomatic responsibilities expected of her role,” Lee said.

“But still, I believe there should have been a proper explanation when she halted her official appearances. For example, if she had talked about a need for self-reflection regarding her actions, her absence would have been meaningful. However, she did not make any explanations for her absence from the public eye or her subsequent return.”The first lady resumed appearing in public by attending an official lunch between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet at the presidential office in Seoul, Thursday. It was her first official appearance in 153 days, after she accompanied Yoon’s trip to the Netherlands in December last year.On April 5, Kim cast her ballot during the early voting period for the April 10 general elections and engaged with the first ladies of Romania and Angola during Yoon’s respective summits with the leaders of the countries. However, those meetings were held behind closed doors.Kim’s low-profile stance was widely interpreted as efforts by the presidential office to mitigate controversies surrounding the first lady, 스포츠토토존 aiming to prevent them from impacting the general elections in April.

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