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[Editorial] To Achieve President`s Ambitious Policy Goals

[Editorial] To Achieve President`s Ambitious Policy Goals

Posted August. 15, 2003 21:50,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said many things during his congratulatory speech marking the nation’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule on August 15. He stressed the importance of achieving a 20,000 dollar-per-capita income, self-defense, and complementary roles in the Korea-US alliance. He also said that the North’s nuclear issue should be addressed peacefully and national unity is much needed at this moment. We are not opposing the president’s policy goals.

The important thing is how to put these policy goals into practice. To that end, two preconditions should be met. First, concrete action plans should be come up with, including securing necessary financial means. Second, the president should show his leadership. There is no need to further mention the first precondition because the president is well aware that achieving a 20,000 dollar-per-capita income and self-defense will not be easy at a time when the nation’s economic growth is expected to be only 2 or 3 percent this year. However, his leadership is questionable.

To achieve national policy goals, a president has the ability to induce a national consensus on the content and the way in which the policy goals are implemented. This means that a president should show leadership by solving various regional, social and generational conflicts.

Unfortunately, President Roh has failed to give the public confidence in his leadership since he took office last February. Terms such as a “code” and “taking sides” are words on everyone`s lips, showing the reality of the national division. In a divided society, any ambitious policies cannot be realized. If a nation is largely divided and the public does not have confidence in their government`s policy goals, no one will show sincere efforts to help the president to proceed with his plans.

President Roh should change his perception and open his mind. As the president of the nation, he should make an effort to unite the divided nation and people under his leadership. Six months ago in his inaugural speech, he said, “Reform is the growth engine and unity is a stepping stone for the nation to jump one notch higher.” No one may disagree with him. Without national unity, national development will not be guaranteed. To achieve those goals that the president envisioned during his speech, he should exercise a leadership that can unite the nation. In addition, the president should bear in mind that actions always speak louder than words.