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[Editorial] Reeling Discipline of Roh Administration

Posted May. 19, 2003 22:00,   


Less than three months have passed since the Roh Moo-hyun administration took office. But the discipline within the Roh administration has almost got worn and torn apart. President Roh called the Blue House during his visit to Washington to receive the latest report on the truckers` strike. The Blue House staff in charge at that night failed to answer the phone. Simply he was deep asleep. President was about to take a summit with his US counterpart outside Korea. Within Korea, truckers made the whole country paralyzed. At this important moment, the Blue House failed to function properly. We could not think of any more disappointing and serious situation than this.

Simply, it does not need any elaboration how important it is for the Blue House to maintain its chain of command and intelligence system in top condition all the time. It is more important when the President is outside the nation. We have to be content with the fact that nothing serious happened. What if something critical to the national security might have happened with the President overseas?

When the leading organization of this nation is in such condition, how could we expect the other government agencies at the lower part of the echelon to function properly? A couple of days ago, extreme members of Hanchongryun, a body of pro-North Korea college students, broke down the flowers the President sent in commemoration of the May 18th Democracy Movement. In addition, they forced President Roh to enter the cemetery through the back gate and stay in his bullet-proof car. Furthermore, shabby preparation by the police also forced congressmen to run here and there to avoid the angry student crowd. What an unprecedented collapse of security system! It does not seem unrelated to the total failure of the disciplinary system. Of course, the first blame goes to the radical student body. But the police cannot avoid the blame. It is their duty to secure the safety of the luminaries and maintain the public order.

But the most severe criticism goes to the power elite of the Roh administration. The Roh administration has given only slap on the wrist for violation of the law, as exemplified by truckers` strike, the conflict over the introduction of the NEIS, and the collective action of Hanchongryun, all of which were and are being led by avid supporters of Roh; namely, labor union members, college students and teachers. That was why the Roh administration had been reluctant to discipline them, and we are facing the chaos today. Now, the administration has to know a lesson: the more President Roh sticks to his "let`em alone" policy, the more social disorder South Koreans will face.