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[Editorial] Making the President’s Hopes Into National Wishes

[Editorial] Making the President’s Hopes Into National Wishes

Posted February. 25, 2005 22:42,   


President Roh Moo-hyun cast a new topic of “being advanced” in his speech at the National Assembly on the second anniversary of his inauguration.

He said that our nation should go further to develop Korea before it is too late, and that in order to realize this goal, a developed government, a developed economy, and a developed society should be essential. I agree with this as the right analysis of reality and a good prescription. In particular, the fact that Roh pointed out the market economy and democracy as two steps toward a developed Korea surely let us sense that he changed.

Roh said, “I have learned many things over the past two years,” and he added, “The past hardships will hopefully be a stepping stone to administer public affairs more maturely for the three years of the presidency I have left.” I hope that his remarks will certainly be realized. The reason is because repeated trial and error might not be allowed any more, and it is obvious that it is leadership that is more important to a leader.

It can be made clear merely by considering an area of the economy. Even though he said that he would solve the problems between big and small businesses, export and domestic demand, and polarization of income differential between social levels, it is not as easy as he said.

There is no one to object to the statement that medium and small-sized businesses should be fostered, but it is one thing to agree with it, and quite another to support that even uncompetitive enterprises should be protected.

Similarly, if the publicity of education and medical treatment is to be expanded, it would be difficult to maintain their industrial aspects. If the worst happens, both policy objectives can be missed at the same time because the two are contradictory.

Past injustices and North Korean nuclear issues are the same. Although Roh said, “Past injustices should be investigated for truth revelation and reconciliation,” I am concerned about the possibility that the controversy over past injustices could be changed into a political dispute or be abused for political expediency. Roh should have showed his position more clearly on the North’s nuclear issues. It is embarrassing for Roh to be seen as indecisive and “hesitating to attack this one because of the adverse effect on that one…”

After all, Roh should make a choice and concentrate on it. Several governmental issues should be definitely prioritized to go ahead with them. It is also the president’s duty to keep communities from being disunited irreversibly. In this light, it is remarkable that Roh demanded that civic groups should “participate creatively in political affairs and create counterproposals, rather than only find fault with the government,” and that he urged regular workers of major companies to make concessions for irregular workers.

Roh’s contribution to the post-authoritarianism of the president is appreciated, but it is not the whole of his responsibilities.

Roh should be able to make communities work together by adjusting conflicting interests at the center of a nation. That will probably make the president’s real hopes into national wishes.