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Public official posts message critical of President Kim

Posted December. 11, 2000 23:52,   


A public official posted a message on the Chong Wa Dae Internet home page that described President Kim Dae-Jung as a lonely old man who is confined to the royal palace. Noteworthy is that the official used his real name.

Suk Jong-Keun, 39, guidance section chief of the Election Management Committee of Chinhae City, South Kyongsang Province, titled his message ¡°New Dansong-so¡± in allusion to an event that took place during the Choson Dynasty.

Suk claimed in the message that state affairs have long been in disarray, that the nation¡¯s very foundation has been destroyed and that the president has alienated himself from the public.

The original Dansong-so, sent to Choson King Myongjong by Cho Shik, alias Nammyong, advised the king to practice ¡°right politics¡± and rejected the king's offer to take up the position of administrator of the Dansong prefecture.

Suk further alleged in his message that government-run institutions were merely pursuing self-interest, ¡°swaggering¡± high-ranking officials and cabinet members were wasting public funds, and even the lowest-level officials could not but heave a sigh of disgust at the situation.

He said President Kim was a lonely old man confined to a dark royal palace, where a human curtain screened out the outside world.

Suk suggested that the best way for President Kim to address the nation¡¯s complex economic problems was to sever ties with the ruling party, pursue viable policies on a consistent basis and recover the people's confidence.

He recalled that the historical Shilla Kingdom¡¯s unification of the three existing nations was not attained through physical strength but through the people¡¯s single-minded desire for unity, and that the grandeur of Pulkuksa Temple was the result not so much of the greatness of its buildings but of the popular consensus.

If the President dispels suspicions surrounding various scandals, lives up to the public¡¯s expectations and revamps the government and the ruling party, the people will follow his lead with a renewed confidence, Suk said.

Kang Jung-Hoon manman@donga.com