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Roh Says Criticism Will Be Answered

Posted December. 27, 2006 03:30,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said on December 26, “I have been tolerating criticism about me, but from now on I will defend myself from every single criticism of me and explain my position. I will work hard to fulfill my duties. At the same time, I will not refrain from saying what I want to say.”

Making such a remark before a cabinet meeting held in Cheong Wa Dae, the president said, “Explaining my position will not deter me from taking care of state affairs.”

Roh also criticized former Prime Minister Goh Kun by stating, “I express my regrets that the former primer minister seems unwilling to make an apology to me, even though I have repeatedly explained what I really meant when I made my previous remarks. He shouldn’t have made such critical remarks about me. It seems that I have become everyone’s whipping boy these days. But I feel sad and unfair when someone who shouldn’t join the people who attack me does so.”

The president, however, didn’t respond to former military leaders’ calls for an apology after he made disparaging remarks about them at a meeting with the National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC) on December 21. Since he continued criticizing the former primer minister while not mentioning the call, some point out that he is trying to detract attention from the military issue.

In a response to the issue, Cheong Wa Dae explained, “At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the president expressed his deep regrets for his comments at the NUAC. Furthermore, at that time of the meeting with the NUAC, he explained enough what he meant, speaking of the military issue.”

President Roh stated, “I learned the news from the media that I was dismissed from my ministerial post after only seven months in office during the Kim Dae-jung administration. Nevertheless, I haven’t slandered or criticized the former president. Instead, I have defended not only Kim but his administration.”

Roh then told cabinet members, “People who work in a cabinet and a government tend to have a similar political agenda. When you are a cabinet member, I urge you to work hard for the government. If you have something to criticize about me, do so while you are a member of this cabinet, not after you leave it.

The political circle interpreted the president’s remarks at the cabinet meeting as his efforts to send a message to the ruling Uri Party chairman Kim Geun-tae and former chairman Chung Dong-young who are seeking their party’s nomination for president next year. These two have been at odds with the president since they want to form a new political party with the Democratic Party, which the president has opposed.