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[Editorial] Does President Roh Have an Idea for National Administration Reform?

[Editorial] Does President Roh Have an Idea for National Administration Reform?

Posted June. 13, 2005 06:49,   


We cannot but be interested in how Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, who just returned after capping the Korea-U.S. summit, will run the confused state of affairs. Warnings on national administration in general, including economic problems, sound louder day after day, and the average person is full of distrust of the government and the political sphere. Although the government is reluctant to acknowledge it, it would not be excessive to say that the people are panic-stricken.

To begin with, the economy shows no sign of recovery. The growth rate of the first quarter was only 2.7 percent, and it seems that it would be difficult to achieve an annual growth rate of four percent. This quarter`s GNI, which indicates real consumption power, only increased 0.5 percent compared with the same period last year. In the meantime, various public utilities charges are surging. Repeated policy confusions are nurturing a feeling of uneasiness, while repression-oriented real estate policies augment confusion rather than efficiency.

More people are frustrated that the country is failing because quite a few presidential aides and presidential advisory commissions resort to expedients and act beyond their authorities, numerous issues like education and pension problems are drifting, conflicts are turning into violence, and it seems as if public power is becoming powerless.

The ruling party, nonetheless, is busy blaming others. Divided into practical and reform factions, the two factions in the Uri Party are railing against each other to leave the party. In the meantime, presidential and party support rates fell to the 30 percent level and 10 percent level respectively.

I wonder if President Roh fully knows why the people are turning their backs on him and whether he is being properly told of the reality of the livelihood of the people. If the president wants to ameliorate the insecure and solution-void state of affairs, he should first read the reality of the crisis. And he should acknowledge his political shortcomings, which he made from illusions rather than ideals, and come up with a realistic countermeasure and present it before the people.

It is also a non-deferrable task to fundamentally repair the broken administration system. The president should normalize the ruling party`s decision-making system, which has nurtured political confusions and administrational chaos. We demand once again that the president reform the core personnel of Cheong Wa Dae and the government. He can turn the situation around only if he holds those who are largely responsible for the drifting of the national administration and the failure of policies accountable, no matter how well they go along with the president`s colors.

We believe that it would be difficult to either prevent a lame duck or recover the livelihood of the people if President Roh himself does not change completely and carry out reforms of his national administration.