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President Roh Says the New Year’s Critical Phrase is “Regulation of Speed”

President Roh Says the New Year’s Critical Phrase is “Regulation of Speed”

Posted January. 03, 2005 22:43,   


The critical phrases of the New Year, which President Roh Moo-hyun put forward on January 3, are “regulation of speed” and “decentralization.” President Roh proposed to “draw a comprehensive and organized strategy map towards an advanced Korea” while presiding over a meeting of top secretariats and presidential aides in the morning at Cheong Wa Dae.

The remark was an order to sort the “roadmap of 100 national agendas” drawn over the past two years into tasks that can be completed within the president’s tenure and that cannot, and to regulate the speed of implementation for each agenda.

The roadmap of the national agenda, which included 253 tasks in February 2003 when the participatory government was inaugurated, was reduced to 100 tasks in the first half of last year. The Presidential Commission on Policy Planning is planning to complete the transformation of the 100 agendas into policies by 2006, and the implementation of 48 policies among them within President Roh’s tenure.

Meanwhile, President Roh said in the meeting that it was highly commendable that Japan decided to give $500 million in relief funds to tsunami-hit South Asian countries, and that although Korea was not in a position to take the lead in the matter, due to the remarkable gap of economic power, the country should be more proactive in dealing with the issue.

Regarding domestic politics, the president stressed “decentralization” with the two pillars, which are the separation of the ruling party and the government, and government operations led by the prime minister.

He said that the separation of the ruling party and the government is important in that it was the administration’s promise to the public. He also said it is critical for politics to be independent. He added that political affairs should be put in the hands of political parties according to principle. Some say that his remark represents the fact that the president should accept the failure to pass the abolition of the National Security Law and the law to investigate past wrongdoings during the Japanese colonial rule in the National Assembly late last year.

He also said that the presidential secretariats should also assist the prime minister while giving priority to helping the president resolve his presidential agenda, adding that he would do his utmost to support the prime minister’s control over the Cabinet by consulting with him over important personnel decisions. The president reportedly is thinking over the hand over of personnel authority to the prime minister when the conditions are ripe.

In addition, President Roh also said about the government’s relationship with the media that the two sides should build a constructive and co-operational relationship while maintaining positive tensions, adding that they should firmly establish a healthy and active communications system, avoiding returning to irrational and wrongful symbiotic relations.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com