Choi Soon-Sil is seen bossing and ordering Park Geun-Hye around in a newly-surfaced audio tape.  News outlet are focusing on a taped conversation from 1999 to understand the dynamic between Park and Choi.  In the tape, Park and Choi discuss building a memorial and museum for Park’s father, Park Chung-Hee.  They discuss building one near Gumi, the strongman’s birthplace about 2 hours north-west of Busan, South Korea’s second largest city.

There are 3 other persons who are part of the conversation, including the vice chairman of the Hannarah Party. Choi is seen leading the conversation, interrupting Park several times, even telling her what to do and what to eat. She often talks to Park in “banmal,” the language used when talking to subordinates or children.

Choi interrupts Park several times, addresses her as if talking to children or subordinates, then tells her what to eat.

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Here’s the passage that reinforces the image of Park being under Choi’s complete control. Choi is heard complaining about the budget for the Park Chung-Hee museum.

Choi:  “How are they coming up with the budget?  Is that going to be $8 million dollars? $16 million? $24 million?  Maybe if Park Chung-Hee’s house of birth is not moved from Gumi, it won’t take $24 million to build the memorial.”

Park: “Well, if Korean citizens can collect some money starting now … ”

Choi abruptly interrupts Park and then tells her what to do:

Choi: “Why don’t you just use the budget we get for the birthplace … and use what we decide here to buy land for the memorial?”

Park: “Even if our budget is small, we can use it to build the site and structure … ”

Choi: “Then we should just nominate a steering committee?  Isn’t that better? Why not do it that way?”

Then Choi tells Park not to meet and discuss these issues with the Blue House staff of then president Kim Dae-Jung.

Choi: “You shouldn’t talk to or meet with those [Kim Dae-Jung] officials from the Blue House.  Basically, the province (North Kyung-Buk) will have to come up with a committee of its own for the museum.”

Choi tells Park not to go see Mao's mausoleum in China but visit U.S. presidential libraries instead. She then tells her to eat some beef dish.

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Then Choi talks about presidential museums in the U.S. and tells Park she should visit some of them:

Choi: “There’s no need to visit museums and mausoleums in China. Don’t go to China any more. You should go to the U.S. since there are many presidential museums that are very well constructed there.”

To this Park meekly replies:

Park: “Yes.”  [More like, “Yes, mam.”]

Then Choi tells Park what to eat:

Choi: “Here, eat this.  This raw beef dish is delicious!”

During the conversation, Choi is also seen talking down to the vice chair of the Hannarah Party, while Park uses  a formal, respectful tone to everyone.  Hannarah was Park’s party back in 1999.  It is now called Saenuri, which has split after the Choi Soon-Sil scandal into 2 factions: (1) those who oppose Park, would like to kick her out and start another party and (2) those who still support Park.

The tape is embarrassing for Park and her defenders.  The dynamic between Park and Choi is not like Park soliciting counsel from a trusted confidant.  It is not one of parity; they’re not equal partners.  Choi is completely in charge.   Park, if anything, is an appendage to Choi, who uses Park to fulfill her pecuniary ambitions.

The tape is embarrassing for Park and her defenders.  The dynamic between Park and Choi is not like Park soliciting counsel from a trusted confidant.  It is not one of parity; they’re not equal partners. Choi is completely in charge.  Park, if anything, is an appendage to Choi, who uses Park to fulfill her pecuniary ambitions.

In other words, Park is Choi’s lapdog.  Choi Soon-Sil has Park eating out of her hand.

Park Geun-Hye as Choi's lapdog: Choi has her eating out of her hand.

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