Go to contents

Seoul Mayor: Roh Administration Lacking

Posted November. 10, 2005 03:34,   


Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak, emphasized on Wednesday, “We need meticulous plans and a vision to boost national competitiveness. If you spend two, three years forming roadmaps after being elected president, you can accomplish nothing. No business or nation can succeed in that way.”

Lee said in an interview with this paper at Seoul City Hall this day, “The current administration lacks expertise and experience. Its greatest vulnerability is that its anti-business sentiment is felt among the public and foreign companies.”

In addition, the mayor said, “It should have taken us five years to raise our per capita income from $10,000 to $20,000. Now that the information technology industry is in full swing, I believe a per capita income of $30,000 is achievable within the next presidency, depending on who becomes the leader.”

Lee also said, “Once our per capita income surpasses the $30,000 mark, there will be an increase in the flow of goods. Therefore, the government should prepare for the future by pursuing a Seoul-Busan canal construction as a national agenda. Seventy to eighty percent of the construction fee could be covered by sand and cobblestones [that come from dredging].”

Lee had a reserved position on the issue of revising the constitution. He said, “I do not oppose a presidential re-election system, but I cannot accept the logic of those that push for a constitution revision within the term of this administration. In particular, a move to revise the territory provision could divide the nation.”

On the “three ban policy (no admission through donation, no independent exams by universities, and no grading of high schools on academic performance)” on college admission, the mayor emphasized, “The government controlled education for 30 years, but not even the college admission system has been improved. That issue should be left to the autonomy of colleges.”

Regarding President Roh Moo-hyun’s self-reliant national defense agenda, the mayor said, “[The agenda] could isolate Korea from the international community and also is too costly. A leader who is sincerely worried about the nation should not lean towards populism and instead engage in practical diplomacy.”

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com