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Roh`s Participatory Government Inherited from Tradition of Government-in-Exile

Roh`s Participatory Government Inherited from Tradition of Government-in-Exile

Posted April. 13, 2003 22:02,   


President Roh Moo-hyun delivered a speech at a ceremony to mark the 84th anniversary of the inauguration of the government-in-exile during Japanese colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, held at the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Hyochang Park, Yongsan, Seoul on Sunday. During the speech, he said, "The government-in-exile was the first democratic republic in Korea’s political history. The nation’s modern political history started from that government. The new participatory government is based on it."

"We have a sad history tainted with failure of justice and prevalence of opportunism due to the loss of national sovereignty during Japanese colonial rule, which in turn, led to the division of the nation. The geopolitical conditions on the Korean Peninsula which caused suffering to the Korean people in the past now offer an opportunity for the nation to grow into the hub of Northeast Asia. We should usher in a Northeast Asia era of peace and prosperity," the president said.

He also said that he would consult with U.S. President George W. Bush over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions during his visit in May as well as cooperate closely with other relevant nations, such as Japan, China, Russia and the European Union to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis in a peaceful manner through dialogue.

This is the first time that an incumbent president participated in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the government-in-exile. He was given a copy of the writing of Kim Koo, who headed the government-in-exile, which says that "the amicable relations between Korea and the U.S. are based on equal footing."

Earlier, at a meeting with some 150 members of the Trilateral Commission at Chong Wa Dae, Mr. Roh said that "North Korea should accept talks over the crisis because its nuclear weapons development does not benefit it in the slightest."

The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental policy discussion group, consisting of opinion leaders from around the world. Seoul is hosting the commission’s annual meeting this April.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com