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GNP Denounces Prime Minister Lee’s Remarks

Posted October. 20, 2004 22:42,   


The Grand National Party (GNP) yesterday strongly criticized ruling party leaders for making offensive remarks against Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo, calling them “absurd remarks which imply that power can control the press.”

In particular, as Uri Party Chairman Lee Bu-young supported the remarks of Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan reproaching Dong-A and Chosun, the presumption that the remarks were intended to be offensive was dominating.

In the party’s executive meeting, GNP floor leader Kim Deok-ryong said, “What is the purpose of the prime minister’s trip abroad? Is it for foreign affairs or for abusing his opponents?” He also retorted that the current administration, including the president, the prime minister, and ruling party members, has been showing a delusion of persecution against certain press companies and the opposition party. Kim then said, “The entire nation has been suffering from uncertainties of society, economy, and national security. It would be better to think over real pending issues rather than make outrageous remarks.”

The GNP Secretary General Kim Hyung-oh also said, “I felt so embarrassed by looking at the Prime Minister using slang expressions, talking wild and even threatening the press. Some people say ‘Like president, like prime minister’, which means that the Prime Minister is now raising controversial issues while the President remains quiet.” He added, “The press reform defined by the Prime Minister eventually implies that the government will turn the press into its bugler.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s assertion that “the current administration is a moderate, right wing administration based on the European standard, and Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo are trying to drive us to socialism,” also brought controversy.

“The fact that the prime minister constantly said that ‘government policy is not leftist’ proves that it is in a state of neurosis or hysteria against left-wing policy,” said Lee Han-gu, policy committee chairman of the GNP. “That proves the ruling party has an inferiority complex or feels uncomfortable towards left-wing policies.”

Lee also said, “In the extreme left-wing viewpoint, the left party looks like the right party. In order to evaluate whether a policy is left or right, it is necessary to consider general criteria, such as growth and distribution, along with the global standards, and market orientation or national priorities.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com