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Roh Says: "Let’s End Political-Economic Adhesion”

Posted May. 27, 2004 20:26,   


“Korea is now equipped with the political environment where we can solve problems with dialogue and cooperation,” said President Roh on May 27. “We have to clear away the close-knit and giving privileges, the ‘gangster culture,’ rooted in our political circles.”

President Roh gave this message at Yonsei University’s Centennial Celebration Hall in a special lecture on “Age of Change, New Leadership” and said, “There is the chance that there will be a [regime] change after four years even if the governing party and the opposition do not fight to death, and we can lead that change with dialogue and cooperation.”

“Therefore, we should end the close-knit gangster culture in which laws are not respected and pointless malicious means to attack are taken in the outer world and in which a master-servant relationship is shaped based on strict loyalty and compensation, partaking on material and honorary compensation in the inner world,” said President Roh. “That is why I want to bring an end to political and economic adhesion, and I will end high-level adhesion.”

He also added, “It seems that authority-media adhesion has ended, but that political-media adhesion still remains within the government,” adding, “When this participation government ends, it will no longer exist. I ask the people to take care of the political-media adhesion since I will be responsible for the adhesion within the government.”

“Democratic power should be challenged endlessly, but if you shake it too much, it just cannot do its job,” added President Roh. “Criticism should be adequate, with a reasonable foundation and alternatives.”

In regard to the issues of the American forces stationed in Korea and independent national defense, the president remarked, “If we are to change it right now, both Korea and the U.S. will get hurt. So, the independent national defense should establish a 10-year plan and seek mutual interests in a cooperative relationship.” He also pointed out, “It would be good for both of us to fully discuss the reorganization of the American forces in Korea and the downsizing of it, and produce an announcement together so that they have a sense of respect that we treat them as a partner.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com