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President Roh, “I Shall Not Interfere In the Merger With the MDP”

President Roh, “I Shall Not Interfere In the Merger With the MDP”

Posted January. 23, 2005 22:40,   


Regarding his suggestion concerning Rep. Kim Hyo-seok of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) as deputy prime minister and minister of Education and Human Resources Development, President Roh Moo-hyun explained, “This was done out of good intentions, and has nothing to do with the merger between the Uri Party and MDP.”

President Roh held a press conference at Chunchugwan on January 23 and said, “Matters regarding the merging of the parties are up to the party to decide, and I have no intention to interfere. When offering the position to Rep. Kim, I did not suggest any conditions whatsoever, such as requiring him to leave his own party.”

However, President Roh did not deny the fact that this offer was meant to seek the MDP’s cooperation, saying, “There was a certain amount of political consideration,” and adding, “The upper limit of that political consideration is as much as is required for two parties to maintain amicable relations.”

President Roh said, “I am well acquainted with Rep. Kim since we worked together in many policymaking activities, and I recommended him for the position since he is the one who pushed forward with reform by reflecting the needs of the economic arena,” adding, “I was planning to negotiate with the MPD if he accepts the offer, but because this was revealed to the public during the process, I did not have the chance to do so.”

President Roh also revealed his intention to avoid “a personnel code,” saying, “Appointing people close to me would make this a personnel code. Finding talent from various fields is a requirement of the society in general, and therefore I will seek out people from various parts of society.”

Regarding this, the MDP’s acting chairman, Shin Nak-gyun, said, “A politically unacceptable thing happened just 10 days before the party convention,” at an emergency board meeting today and added, “Considering the fact that Rep. Kim is not directly related to education, we can only interpret this as a politically motivated act.”

Spokesman Yoo Jong-pil wrote a commentary on this in which he said, “I define this incident as ‘President Roh’s failed attempt to destroy the MDP,’” and pointed out that, “If the president wants to appoint talent regardless of party, he should first take his name off the Uri Party’s register and focus on reviving the economy.”

Jung-Hun Kim Ho-Won Choi jnghn@donga.com bestiger@donga.com