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[Editorial] In-depth Discussion on Relocation of Capital and Nuclear Issue

[Editorial] In-depth Discussion on Relocation of Capital and Nuclear Issue

Posted December. 15, 2002 22:48,   


The third and last one in a series of televised debates to be held today should be a debate to help voters tell differences from presidential candidates, in particular for undecided voters to make a decision. At least the way shown in the previous two debates, in which major three candidates failed to show clear differences among them, should be dropped. We do not want rhetorical words any more. With only three days to go before the presidential election, we expect the three candidates to show how they differ from each other over pending issues. In other words, we want an election based on policy.

All reasonable people know what should be the subject of the debate. The answer is undoubtedly relocation of the capital and North Korea’s nuclear issue. It is not only because the two issues are issues of grave concern on their own, but also because candidates have different opinions over these matters. In addition, voters’ interest is growing. Therefore, if the candidates try to avoid a sincere discussion just considering a possible effect on getting votes, they are mistaken.

In fact, considering circumstances, the proposed one-on-one debate between Roh of the pro-government Millennium Democratic Party and Lee of the opposition Grand National Party seems to be intentionally avoided, rather than to have been scuttled. However, the relocation is expected to have a huge impact on the nation’s economy, society and culture. Therefore, the two candidates should discuss the pros and cons of the plan during this debate.

They need to review how urgent it is; how probable it is; whether any detailed program has been made; how much it will cost; how many Seoul citizens are likely to leave the city and thus how much real estate prices will drop.

Meanwhile, to deal with the North’s nuclear issue from a dichotomous point of view "war and peace" only stokes national conflict. In particular, if a candidate tries to make a bad use of this issue and stimulate the public’s fear of war, he should be to blame. It is a kind of old political tactic. The nuclear issue needs a discussion in depth all the more because it is related to the international political mechanism.