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Ruling Party ``Gov`t Policy on North Korea Lacks Consensus Making Process``

Ruling Party ``Gov`t Policy on North Korea Lacks Consensus Making Process``

Posted October. 16, 2001 08:29,   


Rep. Hwang Seung-Min of the Grand National Party (GNP) said, ``It is impossible for the former minister of Construction and Transportation Ahn Jung-Nam, who has been a government official since he began his career as a petty tax official, to have constructed a family town amounting to 3 billion won in Kangnam area unless he accumulated the wealth by illicit means.`` urging for a thorough investigation on the sources of money in the question and answer session on economic matters at the National Assembly yesterday.

Rep. Hwang stated that ``I was shocked by the testimony of Kim Byung-Kwan, former honorary president of Dong-a Ilbo, who said that a high-ranking official of the National Tax Service gave an advice regarding how to avoid paying a donation tax.`` Hwang also questioned, ``How could the government arrest an owner of the press company under the name of media reform, while a high-ranking official of the National Tax Service gave advice on ways to avoid tax?``

Rep. Lee Sung-Hun of the GNP said, ``Three scandals, such as Chung Hyun-Jun, Jin Seung-Hyun, and Lee Yong-Ho scandals, are all power related corruption cases as if they are identical triplets connected through one body. The serious problem is that every finance corruption case is connected to the national informer, especially, to the economic group.``

Rep. Cho Han-Chun of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) said that ``[the government] should keep in mind that there is a criticism that the South-North economic cooperation is `one-sided pumping up`. This is because the consensus making process is lacking when the government decides on the policy toward the North.``

Rep. Kim Hong-Shin of the GNP claimed that ``the government is considering expending the expiration date as a countermeasure for the poor progress on collecting the public funds. This move is to shift the burden of repayment of the public funds to the next regime.``

However, Rep. Cho Jae-Hwan of the MDP refuted Rep. Kim`s claim, saying that ``although all of us should be united when the outside condition is getting tougher, the opposition party has continued to oppose unconditionally, and such examples of opposition in the field of economy are too many to state.``

Prior to this, the MDP floor leader Lee Sang-Soo and the GNP floor leader Lee Jae-Oh had a floor leaders` talk arranged by Lee Man-Sup, the speaker of the National Assembly, and agreed to normalize the crippled operation of the National Assembly due to Rep. Ahn Tack-Soo`s statement on the `resignation of the President`.

The two floor leaders said that they expressed regret on the crippled operation of the National Assembly and that they would make the ruling-opposition parties` joint effort for the prevention of such an instance in the future. Lee Man-Sup stated that ``after discussing with Rep. Ahn, I will delete his statement from the stenographic record.``

Lee Han-Dong Prime Minister said in his response that ``the prosecution will make a decision according to the legal procedure whether it will investigate the former minister Ahn and his family. I cannot express any view on this matter now.``

Moon Chul fullmoon@donga.com