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``Not Right Time to Discuss Unified Constitution``

Posted July. 18, 2001 20:25,   


Regarding the recent symposium on the unified constitution by the New Era Strategy Institute (chairperson, Rep. Kim Won-Gil), Lee Man-Sup, the president of the National Assembly, said yesterday that ``the unified constitution would be a subject of an academic research but the discussion in the political circle would create a national confusion and a split in the public opinion.``

In his celebration speech for the 53 anniversary of the Constitution Memorial Day in the National Assembly, president Lee stated that ``it would be timely to discuss the unified constitution when the Inter-Korean relationship improve and has reached a national consensus.``

Lee Hoi-Chang, the president of the Grand National Party, also expressed his concern about the pre-matured discussion, saying ``even the basic environment for the peaceful unification is not created yet.`` Mr. Lee also added that ``our constitution has been amended nine times. It might look like a quilt but, from other side, through the repeated amendments, the constitution has been refined. [We] should remind the essential value of the nation defined by the constitution.``

Kwon Chul-Hyun, the spokesperson of GNP, remarked in the statement yesterday that ``the present government confuses the national identity by talking about the unified constitution. GNP will fight against any political tactics to violate or damage the constitution.``

Meanwhile, Chun Yong-Hak, the spokesperson of the New Millennium Democratic Party, criticized GNP stating ``the national leaders have to ponder the meaning of the Constitution and cope with the national welfare on the Constitution Memorial Day. The political aggression of GNP is misleading the people.``

Mr. Chung also remarked that `the symposium has been prepared for a long time and it was held for an academic purpose. Raising issues about that is simply a political maneuvering``

Song In-Soo issong@donga.com