Of Ahn and Angry Birds: the political culture that is South Korea

This video comes to us from Ahn Chul-soo, who is emerging as a potential independent presidential candidate in the South Korean election in December of this year.

Ahn comes to politics from the business world — he founded AhnLab, Inc., an antivirus software company, and he now serves as the dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University.

In the clip above, Ahn uses Angry Birds to make a point to South Korean voters to turn out to today’s (now completed) legislative election:

“Bad pigs are hiding behind the castle, the solid establishment. These good birds are throwing themselves to break the castle,” Mr. Ahn said.

Then a voice asks him what he would do if the election turnout is over 70%, and he answers he would sing. “Since I can’t sing, it is a big sacrifice,” he said.

But the voice insists he dance as well. He laughs and reluctantly agrees. The voice then wraps up the interview by declaring “Mr. Ahn will sing and dance in mini-skirt!” Mr. Ahn looks clearly embarrassed and throws the Angry Bird stuffed animal he was holding towards the camera. Then a message appears on screen, “Angry?? Just Vote!”

Ahn rose to political prominence last year with a series of appearances and commentaries on South Korean politics.  He currently garners significant support in pre-election polls as a credible, if not leading, presidential candidate.  Ahn met with Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Seattle earlier this year, furthering speculation that the one-time IT entrepreneur will make a run at the Blue House (the ROK’s presidential home).

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