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During the recent confirmation hearing for the prime minister, lawmakers who opposed the appointment received thousands of text messages containing insults and threats, to the point that the committee chairman had to issue a public plea for restraint. Centrists, liberals and even people within Mr. Moon’s own party have all suffered what appear to be concerted attacks from his followers.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions came under assault mid-May for denouncing the president’s choice for the anticorruption czar. L.G.B.T. rights groups have been silenced after trying to raise the issue of discrimination with Mr. Moon at public forums. Resentment from what could be core allies of the president piles up. Mr. Moon has done little to rein in the “Red Guard,” as some detractors call his fan base. His election campaign was accused of coordinating with a private supporters’ group to steer online discourse in a favorable direction.
Mr. Moon has hired a presidential secretary convicted of illegally disseminating online content in 2012, and he has defended his extreme supporters’ antics as “a kind of spice that makes our competition more interesting.”