February 22, 2022
SEOUL – From smashing pine boards in a taekwondo uniform to beating a traditional drum, the two presidential candidates leading the race are each putting on a show to woo voters.
Addressing a crowd of residents in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Sunday, presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea smashed pine boards while donning a taekwondo uniform, in a show of his determination to change the country when he is elected.
“Like how Gyeonggi Province is different before and after having Lee Jae-myung (as governor), South Korea will also be different from before and after having me (as president),” Lee said at his canassing event in Suwon. Lee served as governor of Gyeonggi Province until late last year, when he resigned to focus on his campaign.
In promising the people he will lead the country to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Lee smashed pine boards printed with “COVID-19 crisis” and “sufferings of sole proprietors.”
During Saturday’s campaign event in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, Lee also demonstrated kicks in the air as he vowed to “beat COVID-19 away.”
Rival candidate Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party, who is running neck and neck in polls with Lee, has put on “performances” with various items to grab the attention of the voters.
In an event in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, on Sunday, Yoon also beat on a large drum his campaign team had prepared, “just like how Yi Sun-sin, the admiral and military general, declared his victory against the Japanese Navy during the Imjin War (during the Joseon era).”
Yoon has also made the “uppercut ceremony” his trademark move at campaign events, swinging his fist in an uppercut punching motion to the sky to induce cheers from the crowd. The uppercut gesture became famous when Guus Hiddink, the Dutch head coach who led the Korean national soccer team to the semifinals in the World Cup in 2002, made it his iconic goal celebration.