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Opposition leader says policy unbalanced

Posted October. 25, 2000 12:57,   


Grand National Party leader Lee Hoi-Chang on Tuesday defined the nature of the current crisis as "a crisis of confidence, a crisis of system and a crisis of leadership," lambasting the government for being "too fast on improving ties with North Korea but too slow on handling domestic affairs."

He spoke to this effect during a lecture on "the Overall Crisis in State Craft and the Role of the GNP" to a class at Korea University's graduate school of public administration at Hongin Hotel in Taejon. He also was stumping Doma marketplace for his party's candidate for Seogu Ward chief administrator.

The opposition leader unleashed a harsh attack on the North Korea policy of the Kim Dae-Jung administration.

"The low-level confederation concept advocated by Pyongyang is a step toward a higher level of federation, leading to a regime presided over by the Kim chieftains -- Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il," Lee said, declaring that South Korea never will give up liberal democracy.

Calling on President Bill Clinton to consult fully with the president-elect in the event of his visit to North Korea, Lee cautioned Washington against unforeseen negative consequences of such a visit in the absence of consultation.

Turning to economic problems, Lee ascribed the liquidity crunch of Hyundai Group to unprofitable investments in North Korea, and the GNP head said it might turn out to be a second Daewoo panic unless the question is taken seriously now.

Lee tried to distinguish his party from old-guard political parties led by three Kims. He stressed his is a democratic party whose leader was chosen by grass-roots members in contrast to the Democratic Party and the United Liberal Democrats, which have been ruled by money and power represented by President Kim and Honorary Chairman Kim Jong-Pil respectively.

"Many a clever trick has been devised to discredit the GNP," Lee said, "just like dogs here and there indulge in barking against the moon when it rises up in the sky."

Sun Dae-In eodls@donga.com