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[Editorial] Government Must Take Advice of Elder Statesmen

[Editorial] Government Must Take Advice of Elder Statesmen

Posted October. 22, 2005 10:29,   


During Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan’s conversation with Korean expatriates in Frankfurt, Germany on October 19, one participant said, “Please manage the government affairs in a future-oriented way.” The prime minister responded, “Some of the press are misleading and confusing the public, but the country is already stable.”

Cardinal Kim Soo-hwan said in an interview with Dong-A Ilbo on October 20, “Policymakers are blaming each other while the country is being seriously divided,” and lamented, “It’s hard to see whether we are really living in the Republic of Korea or if the country exists in name only where all those in power have totally different ideas.” He advised, “The president and others in power above all must realize that the country cannot proceed this way any further.”

Other press sources have raised concerns on a few issues, in alignment with some of Cardinal Kim’s ideas. Does the prime minister consider the critical views of the cardinal equally “misleading and confusing to the public?” Is it not Lee’s remarks like “the country is already stable” that are actually “misleading and confusing the public?”

“Those who deny the achievements of the Commander of Allied Forces MacArthur of saving Republic of Korea so regret the fact that South Korea did not collapse during the Korean War, and if this is not a crisis of national legitimacy, then what is?” Cardinal Kim said. I want to ask the prime minister. The government steps up to prevent the arrest of a “conservative leftist” professor who denies the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea and advocates North Korean hereditary tyranny, a previous North Korean spy sent to the South goes back and forth between the two Koreas with the government’s approval, and the country says, “Bad history and good history must be remembered as they were” about how the Commander of Allied Forces saved the Republic of Korea. Is this an “already stable” country?

North Korea fuels the confusion of South Korea with the slogan of “same people,” judges personnel management of a private company, and does not hesitate to intervene in domestic politics and the press. Nevertheless, the government is busy being conscious of the North’s reactions. It has been long since a red light was put on the R.O.K-U.S. alliance. Still, President Roh Moo-hyun made a remark that failed to recognize the U.S. perception of the South when he said in an interview with an Internet source yesterday, “The U.S. seems to embrace the slight change in South Korea’s attitude without much difficulty.” The economy and people’s livelihood do not show signs of recovery. Conflict and confrontation between members of the society have been encouraged. Can this be dubbed an “already stable” country?

In an interview with Dong-A Ilbo on October 19, Pastor Kang Won-yong expressed concerns over the country’s future, saying, “The next two to three years will determine the existence of Korea.” Kang pointed out that the Roh administration used the “controversy over Kang Jeong-gu’s remarks” based on political motives and said, “A government without people’s participation cannot be called a participatory government, and the public believes that the government is cheating on them.”

Although belatedly, Roh administration should accept the bitter advice from the old guards and join in the people’s effort to set straight the shaking nation.