Keon Hee, the First lady of South Korea, is facing allegations of receiving a Dior bag from a pastor, where this action is said to threaten the prospects of President Yoon Suk Yeo’s party in April’s elections.
Following the emergence of the video late last year, Yoon and his spouse have not directly responded to the accusations. However, the controversy has led to disapproval from members within their party and has also drawn criticism from the rival Democratic Party, which presently holds the majority of seats in the National Assembly.
The scandal is gaining momentum just three months before South Korea’s legislative elections. This development coincides with a gradual increase in Mr. Yoon’s approval ratings, which had been declining steadily over the past year.
Political analyst Rhee Jong-hoon, based in Seoul, has characterized it as a “significant political revelation” or a “major political shock.”
“The Kim Keon Hee risks are only going to get bigger,” he said.
The Democratic Party, in the opposition, has also capitalized on the matter to criticize Mr. Yoon and the PPP.
“It makes no sense for the presidential office and the ruling party to continue to ignore this and talk as if an apology will end the matter,” Hong Ik-pyo said.
South Korean legislation prohibits public officials and their spouses from accepting gifts exceeding 1 million won at once or totaling more than 3 million won within a fiscal year. The scandal has led to divisions within Mr. Yoon’s political party.
This incident is the most recent in a series of controversies involving South Korea’s 51-year-old First Lady.
The opposition has consistently alleged Ms. Kim’s involvement in stock price manipulation. In the earlier part of this month, Mr. Yoon opposed a proposed legislation that sought an investigation into these accusations against his wife.
In the previous year, Seoul’s government abandoned an expressway project following allegations that its implementation would financially favor Ms. Kim’s family by increasing the value of their owned land.