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Roh Lays Out Election Pledges

Posted November. 20, 2002 22:54,   


Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) said yesterday that he expected the negotiation process to field a single candidate would go smoothly and that the result of the negotiation would be reliable since it is an agreement between two persons who want to become the president.

Roh said in an interview with the Donga Ilbo, “Even though I fail to become the single presidential candidate, I will honor the result since the more important than the differences of policy is trust and recovering trust in the political sector is one of the greatest national challenges.” He also said,“If I am elected as the president, the Grand National Party(GNP) will collapse, and the political circle will go through a large-scale overhaul based on vision and policy.” He added that if elected, he would introduce medium and major constituency system for the 17th general elections and empower a dominant party to appoint the prime minister, expressing his willingness to grant more power to prime minister.

With regards to the inter-Korean issue, Roh said that he would continuously persuade North Korea that nuclear weapons would not be of any help for the Communist country and hold summit talks and ministerial meetings on a regular basis. He, however, noted that the government should thoroughly investigate the allegations that Hyundai sent secret money worth 400 billion won to North Korea.

He said that one of the main reasons behind the harsh criticism against `the people`s government` was the failure of personnel management. He emphasized that he would select talented people in a fair manner and not be swayed by regionalism.

Roh said that the both parties agreed to finalize the ongoing negotiation before the candidate registration period set for Nov. 27-28, adding,“We will try to see the big picture rather than concentrating on minor issues.”

He flatly denied the allegation that he and Chung Mong-joon of the National Alliance 21 cut a deal behind-the-scenes, saying,“I have never thought about situations that might occur if I am elected.”

He said, “Even though I failed to become the president, I will never run for presidency again. But I will remain as a politician since my goal is to reform the domestic politics and political parties.”

On the vehement resistance from farmers against the concluding of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile, Roh said that the government should work out measures to minimize the possible damage from the openness and liberalization of the nation`s agricultural sector before the FTA takes effect. But he added that the government should not forgive farmers their debts.

Young-Chan Yoon yyc11@donga.com