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Personnel Affair Contradicts Roh’s Remark, “Cooperation with the Press”

Personnel Affair Contradicts Roh’s Remark, “Cooperation with the Press”

Posted February. 17, 2005 22:44,   


President Roh Moo-hyun appointed Ewha Womans University professor Cho Ki-sook as the new presidential chief secretary for public relations yesterday.

The outgoing Lee Byeong-wan, who resigned because of failing health, was named as presidential special advisor for public relations and culture.

The new chief secretary Cho actively contributed columns to some newspapers before the presidential election as one of the young political scientists who supported Roh in 2002, and also appeared on a TV forum.

Roh reportedly expressed approval of Cho’s opinions as much as there was no column which he did not read.

That is why Roh allegedly thought of the incumbent professor Cho for the position (presidential chief secretary for public relations) earlier in order to strengthen policy publicity and gender equality.

However, the fact that Cho had a very negative perspective about the specific newspaper agency aroused controversy over her qualification for the public relations chief secretary position.

The personnel affair is also said to have contradicted Roh’s declaration for “cooperation with the press” at the end of last year.

Cho had been actively involved in the “anti-Chosun” movement. She declared to give up further writing for some newspapers, criticizing the reports of the presidential election as favoritism.

Cho has urged for press reform ever since, saying, “I think that it may be the press that resists reform to the last, and that is the ultimate sanctuary, which cannot be reformed.”

In May 31, 2004, when Cho left the Uri Party, she showed her extremely negative attitude toward the press, saying, “The Korean press is a storyteller. However it is an uninteresting third-rate novel. It merely causes strong hatred against politics.”

- She is from Anyang, Gyeonggi (46); Professor, department of Political Science, Ehwa Womans University; Ph. D. in Political Science at Indiana University, U.S.A; director of International Information Center at Ehwa Womans University and head of the Academic Affairs Department at Graduate School of International Studies; member of judging commission for Uri Party candidates in the general election and chief of the advisory committee of planning association for the general election.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com