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Roh Holds New Year’s Press Conference

Posted January. 26, 2006 03:03,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday on plans to secure funds for resolving the social polarization issue, “The government does not insist on increasing taxes for now,” adding, “The government will take all measures to resolve the issue without imposing more taxes on the public.”

During a New Year’s press conference held at Cheong Wa Dae on the same day, President Roh said, “Some have exploited my remark in which I said that Korea needed responsible discussions for the scale of national finance and welfare expenditures during a recent New Year’s speech for political gain by trying to stir up a tax hike controversy.”

Concerning real estate measures, the president said, “Taking into consideration that property prices in some areas have skyrocketed again, the government is reviewing additional measures in preparation for a possible housing price increase,” adding, “The government will be able to announce its additional property measures soon after tuning them in.”

The president added, “Various groups have made persistent attempts to incapacitate the August 31 comprehensive real estate measures. Once the government succeeded in coming up with measures under which anyone seeking to speculate eventually suffered losses, people who try to make these measures into useless things will have no choice but to give up their plans.”

Regarding the issue of the handover of wartime operational control to the Korean military, President Roh said, “The government will closely consult with the U.S. to conclude the matter within the year,” adding, “The government will continuously consult with the U.S. even if it fails to reach an agreement on the matter this year.”

Regarding relations between Seoul and Washington, the president said, “The government is not on the same page with the U.S. on some of its issues with North Korea, including its pressure on the North Korean regime in the hope that it collapses,” adding, “If the U.S. seeks to resolve the difficult issues surrounding the North in such a manner, fissures between Seoul and Washington might be created.”

Regarding the issue of alleged North Korean counterfeiting of U.S. currency, the president said, “This is not proper time to voice my opinion because the government needs to confirm the allegations that Pyongyang committed any illegal activities and if Washington has any intention of pressuring the North. It also needs to fine-tune related countries’ opinions on the matter.”

When asked whether the president will bolt from the ruling Uri Party, the president hinted that he would not, saying, “I just mentioned the matter because some within the ruling party said it. I did not say that I will defect from the party. I just repeated the remarks I made before.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com