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Controversy Over President Roh`s Remark On Appointment of KBS President

Controversy Over President Roh`s Remark On Appointment of KBS President

Posted April. 02, 2003 22:21,   


Newly appointed president of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Seo Dong-ku tendered resignation April.2 only 9 days after he was appointed to that position. KBS said, “The newly appointed KBS president expressed his intention of resigning from his position to President Roh this morning first and then offered his resignation to KBS.”

Since his appointment to the job, the president of the KBS has received strong demands for stepping down from his position from some civic groups and the KBS labor union, which believe his appointment was a result of outside influence exercised on the KBS executive board. And the labor union has tried to block the newly appointed president from going to his office since his appointment.

On the KBS president`s resignation, President Roh said that morning at the end of his parliamentary speech, “I said to president Seo, `Why don`t you assume this job?` and I think that it is possible such a remark might have been indirectly delivered to the executive board of the KBS. In retrospect, I`m ashamed of myself because it seems that I told a lie by having said I never intervened in the appointment of the KBS president. However, it is true that I just accepted the KBS executive board` recommendation for president Seo to the position.”

On the strong protests from the labor union and some civic groups, the President also said, “I asked the KBS to respect the labor union`s demand and as long as I know, such a message has been delivered to some of senior officials at the Korean Broadcasting System.”

However, the controversy concerning the appointment of the KBS president seems to have dealt a blow to `reliability` of the president Roh`s government because it has insisted that Chung Wa Dae had nothing to do with the appointment.

Meanwhile, one of the KBS executive board members said, “I still wonder why the President made such a remark because we have never heard of a detailed explanation related to the appointment. We will discuss future courses to be taken in a board members` meeting after the President`s decision on whether to accept his resignation or not.”

That day afternoon President Roh met with some of the KBS labor union members and of civic groups at Chung Wa Dae and exchanged opinions on the appointment issue with them.

Yub Huh heo@donga.com