As of Wednesday morning, over 400,000 South Koreans have signed an online petition calling for the impeachment of President Moon Jae-in over the government’s missteps in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The petition appeared on the website of the presidential office Feb. 4, and more than 200,000 people had signed it by Tuesday afternoon.
Cheong Wa Dae has to give an official answer to a petition if it gets more than 200,000 signatures in less than a month.
The petitioner criticized the government for not barring entry to foreigners from all parts of China.
“Watching President Moon respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s like looking at the president of China, not the president of Korea,” the petitioner wrote.
“Despite the shortage of masks in Korea, President Moon provided 3 million masks to China, and did not come up with any measures to deal with the spike of mask prices.”
The petitioner wrote that the government refused to forbid Chinese citizens from entering Korea, citing international law, and belatedly prohibited the entry of foreigners who had visited China’s Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, after other countries banned visitors from China.
“Over 5 million Chinese got out of Wuhan just before it was locked down. Limiting the entry of only foreigners who visited Hubei province is the same as opening the country to all Chinese people,” the petitioner wrote.
“The most important thing for the president of the Republic of Korea is protecting its own people. Had he thought of his fellow Koreans, he should have banned entry of visitors from all parts of China.”
The presidential office is required to answer the petition within a month beginning March 4.
This is not the first time an online petition calling for Moon’s impeachment has met the requirement for an official answer from his office.
In April last year, a petition demanding Moon’s impeachment over the government’s “tacit approval” of North Korea’s nuclear development garnered over 200,000 signatures.
The presidential office said at the time that it was difficult for the government to answer the petition due to the principle of the separation of powers.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org