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[Editorial] Transitional or Structural Problem in Roh Administraion?

[Editorial] Transitional or Structural Problem in Roh Administraion?

Posted June. 02, 2003 21:28,   


President Roh literally had to hold two live press conferences at a five-day interval. Simply South Koreans had so many questions to ask, and, consequently, he had so many questions to answer. Despite the series of press conferences, we still feel thirsty and hazy about all the scandalous issues. The problem stems from the basic difference in approaching the current situations. Yesterday, at a press conference held in commemoration of his 100th day in office, President Roh defined all the social confusions as a result of transition from the old days to new convention and culture. Most South Koreans, however, would not buy his definition.

As acknowledged by President Roh himself, the truckers` union had repeatedly filed petitions with the government, prior to walking out on the job. No one in the Roh administration would listen to them. Even after they went on a strike, the authorities having jurisdiction over the dispute just sat on their hands, doing nothing. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister of Education and one of the chief Blue House secretaries ignored the command of their boss. Furthermore, no one answered President Roh`s phone call from the Untied States. How could these entire episodes be defined as trial and error in a transitional period? The alleged new convention and culture could not explain the debacles at all.

The lame duck stared too early for a fledging administration. Even before the Roh administration formed itself as a real administration, everything seemed to begin to fall part. Nonetheless, President Roh has no other person than himself to blame for this disaster. He made too much haste in disorganizing the traditional social and authoritative structure. In the process, interest groups got to challenge the weakened authorities by threatening with their collective power. It is now, unfortunately, prevalent in our society.

South Koreans are facing another looming economic crisis. The future of this country`s economy feels gloomy to us. Notwithstanding the fact, President Roh hyped up how low the interest rate is and how small loss we have sustained this year over the labor dispute. He seems totally out of contact with the public. He complained why press shed spotlight on him. It`s not because the press wanted to, but because he did things that drew the press attention.

The only thing President Roh did right was his acknowledgment of mistakes committed by him and his administration. But we hope he should ponder over why he made the mistakes.