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Roh Should Come Up With Measures to Revive Sagging Economy First

Roh Should Come Up With Measures to Revive Sagging Economy First

Posted August. 17, 2003 21:36,   


The chairman of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP), Choe Byung-yul, urged President Roh Moo-hyun to prepare drastic measures to overhaul the management of state affairs and proposed the establishment of a special committee for the nation’s strategic industries in order to revive the flagging economy on Sunday.

To this end, Choe proposed four-way talks involving the president, the speaker of the National Assembly, and the heads of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the GNP.

At a press conference held at the party`s headquarters on that day, the GNP head called upon the government to place the economy first and to set up a special committee for the nation`s strategic industries, comprised of public officials, politicians, businessmen, academics, and laborers to find an engine of growth for Korea in the 21st century.

Choe also asked President Roh to disaffiliate himself from the MDP, stay away from the movement to form a new party within the MDP and abandon his hostile policy towards the opposition party and some critical media outlets.

The head of the GNP, which controls the majority of the Assembly seats, urged the prosecution to conduct a thorough investigation into the inflow of Hyundai`s slush funds into the general elections in 2000. He added that he would go to any length, employing all means available, such as the parliamentary right to investigate and inspect government offices and a special prosecutor, if the president ignores the GNP demands. In that case, the GNP couldn’t but raise the question of the legitimacy of the new government.

"President Roh and his staff have some crucial problems with their outlook on history and political philosophy and they have indulged in groundless optimism since the inauguration of the new government," the GNP head said, "and from a European perspective, they are leftists."

Meanwhile, the GNP head officially announced that he would visit the U.S. for eight days, September 13-20, for bipartisan diplomacy concerning North Korea`s nuclear weapons problem. This would be his first overseas visit as GNP head.

"At the invitation of the U.S. Heritage Foundation, Choe would visit Washington D.C. and New York and meet U.S. administration officials and key politicians to discuss how to strengthen the Korea-U.S. alliance and to resolve the current crisis over the North’s nuclear ambitions," GNP spokesman Park Jin said. "In particular, the head is scheduled to talk about his North Korea policy and his vision for a unified Korea during a speech at a luncheon meeting at the Heritage Foundation on September 15."

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com