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President Says Those in Power Should Not Create "Cartel" with the Press

President Says Those in Power Should Not Create "Cartel" with the Press

Posted May. 04, 2003 22:04,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said that the public officials should not compromise their principles by using their power and that those in power and the press should not create a kind of "cartel." The president gave a lecture in a workshop for vice minister-level public officials at the Central Officials Training Institute in Gwacheon City, Gyeonggi Province on Saturday.

"Citizens` bravery that does not tolerate arrogance of those in power paves the way for establishing a sound democratic society. If a connection is created between the strong and it allows corruption and irregularities, the weak cannot but be oppressed," the president said.

If media outlets get away with it when they release a report damaging confidence in the government, it constitutes delinquency of duty. If the government was wrong, it should mend its ways and if the report was incorrect, the media company should correct it, President Roh said.

He urged the public officials to behave themselves and do their job perfectly. "If there is a conflict amid the tightened relationship between the government and the press, the two parties could hurt each other emotionally and the government can expect attacks from the press. But this is a step to move closer to a rational society," the president said.

With respect to the eradication of corruption and irregularities, he suggested the establishment of a system to allow citizens to file complaints against the government for civil justice and he stressed that administration information should be available to citizens.

"Regarding reform of officialdom, the president said, "I don`t harbor ill feeling against public officials. Rather, I think that the public official community is the engine of Korean economic growth. Officialdom is not an object of reform. It could reform itself," the president said.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com