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[Editorial] Cardinal Kim`s Pressure Maintained for Roh

Posted June. 24, 2003 21:59,   


"The current situation in our society are like the ones we encounter at the mercy of a gigantic storm on the high seas," said Cardinal Soo Hwan Kim. His remarks represent the anxiety prevalent in South Korea these days. The fledging Roh Moo-hyun administration has already been suffering its lack of strong leadership. That is why we feel more anxious. Cardinal Kim doubted Roh`s capacity as a national leader and said, "A fundamental question arises in my mind, `whether President Roh really has the ability to overcome the nation’s problems.`" Roh may not like the Cardinal`s opinions, but whether he likes it or not, Cardinal Kim has pointed to the core of the problem.

In an interview with The Donga Ilbo, Cardinal Kim pointed out that "President Roh seems to seldom keep his words. He says different things different days. He seems to say what his whim leads him to say." President Roh`s position as to CH Bank employees` strike clearly illustrates Cardinal Kim`s point. At first, President Roh lamented on the irresponsible behavior of the CH labor union and ordered the authorities to handle the case, as the law requires. Not long after, he changed himself and no longer insisted on his previous position. The government delegation caved in to union demands, and thereby, ended the strike.

Now, few Koreans believe Roh would honor his initial position, which is a long shot from his much hyped-up policy of principle and trust. We cannot and should not ignore laws in the name of negotiations and dialogue. Law and order however in this society is falling apart, and President Roh sparked this destructive path. This was how Cardinal Kim basically put it. In other words, President Roh`s inconsistent leadership put himself as well as the whole nation in hot water.

Cardinal Kim also criticized President Roh of his decision to dismiss the Independent Counsel. Kim said Roh gave up justice for political pressure. "It is wrong to agree to do something in Washington, and say and do another in Seoul," said Cardinal Kim. Especially, the Cardinal stressed that President Roh should read the newspaper, an object he probably despises most.

As the Cardinal advised, "All politicians and social leaders should do things together for the good of the whole nation." Of course, President Roh is not to blame for all his problems. But he is the one who should account for it most. Roh and his men should learn a lesson from the bitter advice of the Cardinal.