News / Asia

South Korean Entrepreneur Enters Presidential Race

Ahn Cheol-soo, the founder of Seoul-based antivirus maker AhnLab, waves as he arrives for a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 19, 2012.
Ahn Cheol-soo, the founder of Seoul-based antivirus maker AhnLab, waves as he arrives for a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 19, 2012.
Jason Strother
Entrepreneur-turned-politician Ahn Cheol-soo has entered the South Korean presidential race, turning it into a three-way contest. But for a man who has never held public office, there are questions remain on Ahn stands on many domestic and foreign issues.

Hope for political reform

It was the moment that many South Koreans had been waiting for.  After months of speculation, Ahn Cheol-soo, an academic who gained fame as a computer software developer, told his supporters he will seek South Korea’s top job.

Ahn says that citizens have expressed their hope of political reform and that he will become the person who will make that hope a reality.

Even before Ahn made his announcement, opinion polls put him just behind presidential front runner Park Geun-hye.  Moon Jae-in, the candidate from the progressive opposition party, trails behind both.

Upcoming election

At 50 years of age, Ahn will run as an independent in the December election.  He has never held public office.  But some observers say Ahn’s role as a political outsider has greatly contributed to his popularity.  

Hwang Tae-soon is a political analyst at the Wisdom Center, a think tank in Seoul.  

He says Ahn as a businessman has had a lot of success and to young South Koreans, he is the hope of their generation

Hwang adds that little is known about Ahn’s position on many domestic and foreign policies.  Ahn has written about creating a more equal society, but how he would go about doing so as president is unclear.   Hwang says this vagueness will not dissuade his supporters, who are tired of corrupt politicians.

He says South Koreans do not respect the established parties or the politics of today. Despite his lack of experience, he presents himself as a clean politician.

Some observers say that, if Ahn trails too far behind, he and Moon Jae-in might throw their support to one or the other to defeat Park Geun-hye.  But Hwang says that scenario, this close to the election, is unlikely.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid