Park calls for end to 'unrefined language'

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Monday she does not want to see any more foul language hurting national unity, apparently referring to a recent series of insulting remarks that opposition lawmakers made against her and her father.

"Unrefined language has caused many problems in various parts of our society so far, and it is regrettable that it is still repeating," Park said during a weekly meeting with senior secretaries. "Language represents one's personality, and what those representing the country say is directly linked to the national status."

Last week, Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo, then floor spokesman of the main opposition Democratic Party, portrayed Park's father, former President Park Chung-hee, as "gwitae," or a "baby born to a ghost," meaning that the late leader should not have been born.

Hong also called Park an "offspring of gwitae," accusing her of trying to revive the authoritarian rule of her father as the opposition stepped up attacks against her over allegations the state spy agency attempted to influence December's presidential election in her favor.

The remark caused an uproar in the ruling camp, with the ruling Saenuri Party boycotting all parliamentary proceedings and the presidential office expressing strong regret and demanding an apology. Hong later apologized and resigned as the party's spokesman.

On Sunday, another opposition lawmaker, Rep. Lee Hae-chan, accused Park of keeping silent about the spy agency's election meddling, saying that the Park family traditionally has had strong links to the agency as the elder Park created its predecessor and was killed by his spy chief.

"We are at a time when we badly need national unity," Park said Monday. "I hope that there will be no bad language impeding national unity and reconciliation and that we can open up an era of decent politics where we can coexist."

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