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Child born out wedlock in Korea and France

Posted January. 14, 2014 06:58,   


An out-of-wedlock child means a child begotten and born to an unmarried woman. The Park Geun-hye administration is said to have had candidates for top-level officials for the Office of Prime Minister sign on the consent form to verify that candidates have no out-of-wedlock child. It is the first time that the consent form is included in the list of documents required for candidates for high-ranking posts. This seems to be due to the resignation of former Prosecutor-General Chae Dong-wook who stepped down for the allegation that he has an out-of-wedlock son. Some criticize that it is unnecessary to add a new step and a more thorough vetting of candidates would be enough.

French Closer Magazine said French President Francoise Hollande was seen on a scooter with a black helmet at an actress’s apartment and had an affair with her. A man on a scooter with a helmet seems more like a flirtatious middle-aged man than a president. The president said he would take a legal action, saying that the president has privacy rights. Two decades ago, former French President Francois Mitterrand turned out to have a daughter out of wedlock. Le Monde said, “So what?” and it was no big deal. France, which is quite open to sex, protects the government officials’ private sexual rights.

On the contrary, Korea is quite strict about out-of-wedlock issues. Former Environment Minister Lee Man-hee apologized to the National Assembly for having a child out of wedlock. He had the child when he was unmarried thirty years ago. A celebrity declined an offer for a senior post from the presidential office for having a child out of wedlock. He must have felt pressured about the confirmation hearing at the National Assembly and the verification process. Instead of him, an official who passed the vetting process was selected and appointed to the post.

Few senior government officials would be courageous enough to put a child out of wedlock on the family registration. In case an out-of-wedlock child remains unidentified in the verification process, we had to leave it to the candidates’ conscience. From now on, however, officials with a child out of wedlock would feel pressure while signing the consent form before being appointed to a senior post. Some might give up before signing the consent form because they can hardly cut the ties with their child. Or they could immigrate to France.

Editorial Writer Choi Yeong-hoon (tao4@donga.com)