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The Progressives Take Power

Posted April. 18, 2004 21:09,   


The U.K.-based magazine The Economist commented in its newest issue (dated April 17)on expected big changes in Korea, saying that young members from progressive parties, which oppose the powerful of society, collapsed the existing political regime, which is conservative and elite-centric, with the help of the nation’s rage for the president’s impeachment.

It added that the young have thought that Korean democracy has been corrupt, anachronistic and unjust, even though Korean voters have had the right to select their political leaders since the end of the 1980’s.

It analyzed that the young of Korea, who are enjoying the comfort brought by market-favoring policies and rapid growth, take offense at Chaebol’s political and economic priority, prefer to pacify North Korea rather than stand against its threats and that they are opposed to or indifferent to the United States.

In addition, it diagnosed that although the young progressive political movement succeeded in swaying the nation for the next four years of administration, it does not mean that the majority of voters supported them. The incapability and foolishness of the existing parties were the major reasons.

In general, voters do not like the President Roh, and his approval rate fell below forty percent in the first year of his administration, but the unreasonable impeachment brought about the Uri Party’s victory.

However, it anticipated that the situation will not be easy even if the President Roh restores his power.

It pointed out the possibility of the Uri Party’s internal conflict to intensify, and added that voters may feel dissatisfied if the market turns to radicalization while acknowledging the need to cooperate with Democratic Labor Party.

As to the biggest test that the President Roh will meet with after restoration of his power, it mentioned the reformation over Chaebol, and added that the political disorder up to now will be evaluated as worthwhile if he succeeds in Chaebol reform without disrupting the Korean economy.

Hye-Yoon Park parkhyey@donga.com