South Korea's April 2020 Elections Rigged? The Answer Is a Clear No.

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South Korea's April 2020 Elections Rigged? The Answer Is a Clear No.

Groundless claims of hacking and fraud in South Korea’s April 2020 National Assembly election have made their way across the Pacific to the United States recently and been amplified by anti-China hawks. Simply put, the charges of conspiracy do not add up.

Having recently overcome the first wave of coronavirus was the most notable positive thing for Moon about the timing of the election. Prior to that, Moon’s approval rating had been steadily declining the previous year following a variety of scandals and a lack of success on his North Korea detente efforts.

The idea that the Democrats’ victory was “unexpected” is also a bit off. Most Korean news outlets expected the governing party to maintain and even expand its plurality control of the legislature. Few expected an outright majority, let alone a supermajority. I personally predicted 160-out-of-300 seats, a solid majority but far fewer than the 180 they ended up winning.

The real reason some people are buying into the “hacked election” theory is that they are disappointed with the results. It’s either spurned former lawmakers like Min who are disappointed they lost power or hawks like Newsham who embrace every claim that supports their agenda of getting tough on China.

Mitchell Blatt is a former editorial assistant at the National Interest, Chinese-English translator, and lead author of Panda Guides Hong Kong. He has been published in USA Today, The Daily Beast, The Korea Times, Silkwinds magazine, and Areo Magazine, among other outlets. Follow him on Facebook at @MitchBlattWriter.

Image: Reuters.