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Clash on Resignation of Unification Minister

Posted August. 25, 2001 09:18,   


Within the ruling coalition, the conflict over the Unification Minister came to the surface. While Cheong Wa Dae officially declared that the President was not considering replacing the Minister of Unification Lim Dong-Won, Kim Jong-Pil, the honorary president of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) repeatedly demanded to reprimand Minister Lim yesterday.

Moreover, as the Grand National Party submitted to the National Assembly the dismissal motion on Minister Lim earlier than the schedule, the resignation of Minister Lim rose to the biggest issue within the political circles.

Honorary President Kim said yesterday to the officials of the ULD at his house just before leaving Seoul to participate in the unveiling ceremony of monument commemorating the arrival of Chosun`s envoy in Japan, that ``Minister Lim should have been replaced with the former Minister of Construction and Transportation Oh Jang-Seop. Now we will assert our opinion``, an high-ranking official of the ULD delivered.

The ULD`s floor leader Lee One-Ku reconfirmed that the replacement of Minister Lim was the ULD`s basic policy. And the ULD`s spokesman Byun Ung-Jeon urged Minister Lim to resign voluntarily, taking the responsibility for his faulty to dishonor the nation and to enrage the people.

The 131 representatives of the Grand National Party including the floor leader Lee Jae-Oh presented the proposition to release Minister Lim to the National Assembly. They maintained in the proposition that ``prior to the 8.15 joint liberation celebration in North Korea, Minister Lim approved the application of the delegation to visit North Korea despite the naked acts advantageous to the enemy by the North Korea advocates were anticipated. As the government`s core person in charge of the North Korea policy, Minister Lim could not escape the responsibility for abetting an act advantageous to the enemy.``

And the representatives told that ``besides, Minister Lim virtually connived at violation of the territorial waters by the North Korean ship in the National Security Council. And he said that he would not be involved in the Mt. Kumkang tour business of the Korean National Tourism Organization, it turned out to be untrue.`` ``Minister Lim should take the responsibility for the holistic failure of the sunshine policy which drove the Republic of Korea into a most perilous situation.`` added they.

However, presidential spokesman Park Joon-Young told that ``the unexpected reckless activities of some delegates must be problematic, but the replacement of Minister Lim is the different matter. The president was not considering releasing Minister Lim.``

Meanwhile, regarding the stir surrounding the 8.15 delegation, President Kim Dae-Jung told in a working luncheon with the ministers of unification, foreign affairs and security at Cheong Wa Dae that ``the government allowed the visit to North Korea on the decision that it would be desirable to send the delegation if there was a definite promise. But consequently, it was regrettable.`` President Kim did not directly mention about the issue over the replacement of Minister Lim.

Kim Chang-Hyuk chang@donga.com