The fact that Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea visited a raw fish restaurant in Mokpo, Jeollanam-do on the 30th of last month became known belatedly, sparking controversy. At the time, right before visiting the raw fish restaurant, Representative Lee held a rally denouncing the discharge of contaminated water from Japan at the Mokpo Station square, and the visit to the raw fish restaurant was the day before the start of his fast.
At the People Power Party floor plan meeting held at the National Assembly on the 12th, Rep. Jeong Jeong-sik said, “The day before the fast, Representative Lee shouted as if eating seafood would be a big problem at an outdoor rally denouncing contaminated water, but he was eating raw fish with his members at a raw fish restaurant. “I ate it,” he said, adding, “It’s like admitting that the justification for fasting was a false propaganda frame to escape the crisis.” The day before, Spokesperson Kim Min-soo also commented, “Representative Lee deceived the people with actions that he himself did not believe in,” and added, “Did the ‘raw’ people get hit on without the people’s knowledge?”
In response, Democratic Party lawmaker Woo Won-sik posted on Facebook on the 12th, “What do you criticize about preventing the discharge of polluted water and eating raw fish?” and “Don’t you know that we are worried about our future ocean and our children’s diet? “It’s truly vulgar,” he countered. Rep. Kim Yong-min also wrote on Facebook, “It seems truly inhumane for the People Power Party to turn the issue of preventing the dumping of contaminated water into the ocean and allowing the public to safely consume marine products into controversy.”
The controversy is also growing online. There was a lot of ridicule메이저놀이터 in various communities such as, “They said the contaminated water was dangerous, but was it method acting?” and “Singer Kim Yuna compared the discharge of contaminated water to ‘radioactive rain’ and ‘hell’ to side with the Democratic Party. What should we do now?”
In the political world, it is said that the frame of ‘contaminated water = inedible’ has suffered a backlash. This means that if the Democratic Party had only taken issue with Japan’s decision to discharge contaminated water and Korea’s response, Representative Lee’s raw fish tasting would not have been so controversial. The Democratic Party, including Representative Lee Jae-myeong, has been using hard-line expressions such as referring to contaminated water as “nuclear wastewater” and “radioactive terrorism” or “Japan’s discharge of contaminated water is a declaration of war on the Pacific coastal countries.”
The People Power Party has criticized this strategy of causing fear about food, saying, “After having fun with the mad cow disease ghost story in 2008, they are now agitating with the Fukushima contaminated water ghost story” (Rep. Park Seong-jung). In the early days of the Lee Myung-bak administration, slogans such as “I would rather pour cyanide on my head than eat beef with mad cow disease” and “My brain is full of holes” spread by the progressive camp were popular, and actually dealt a significant blow to the approval ratings of the government.
Although the Democratic Party has never explicitly stated that it ‘refuses to sample seafood’, there is an aspect in which the Democratic Party is seen as a ‘party that rejects seafood’ in contrast to the People Power Party, which goes out to sample seafood every day. There is also a precedent in which some supporters of the Democratic Party, including Gaedda, attacked YouTubers who make mukbang (eating broadcasts) their business. When mukbang YouTuber Tzuyang (8.71 million subscribers) uploaded a king crab mukbang video on the 2nd, malicious comments were left saying, “The current situation is such that you must have a concept,” and “Are you doing a mukbang with seafood pickled in polluted water?”
Lee Jun-han, a professor of political science at Incheon National University, said, “The reason why Lee Hae-chan, then leader of the Democratic Party, was criticized for going to a Japanese restaurant in 2019 was because the Democratic Party at the time led the ‘No Japan’ movement by singing a bamboo song,” and added, “The tasting at this meeting was controversial . “The reason it spread is because the Democratic Party, which was promoting fear of food shortages, showed two sides.”