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Cardinal to Uri Chair: Respect Others

Posted February. 28, 2006 02:59,   


Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, the newly-named second Korean cardinal, gave advice with well wishes to Chung Dong-young, chairman of the ruling Uri Party, who visited the archbishop’s office in the Seoul Diocese on February 27, saying, “Respect, understand, and make concessions to others.”

“National leaders have common ground in that they work for national development and the well-being of the public, but they have disagreements in achieving those goals. It is unfortunate to see them quarreling over minor details without making concessions and not focusing on principal matters,” said Cheong.

Since the inception of his chairmanship, the ruling and opposition parties have been engaged in mud slinging to win the upcoming local elections slated for May 31. With this in mind, Cheong advised the chairman to create mutually benevolent relationships in the political sector.

He emphasized, “As we can make the average Korean face from 48 million different faces, we can make an average opinion from 48 million different opinions. Those who have opinions close to the average can be said as having the majority opinion. To gather up these average opinions, leaders should respect each other, try to understand others, and make concessions to each other.”

“To draw up an idea the majority can agree with is the role the chairman should play. It must be hard, but it is not impossible. Only when you work hard can you achieve what you want.”

Chung, who is Catholic, responded, “Minding the advice, I will try to promote harmony and create a political environment that can benefit both the ruling and opposition parties.” The talk was 20 minutes long, and lawmakers Kim Doo-gwan and Cho Bae-sook of the Uri Party, Park Myung-gwang, chief secretary to the chairman, and Bong Doo-wan, chairman of the Catholic Organization for Helping Korean People, were present at the meeting.

Chairman Chung Dong-young plans to visit Dokdo one day before March 1, Korea’s Independence Movement Day.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com