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`Fmr. Pres. Roh is a Failed CEO of the Nation`

Posted May. 03, 2008 08:50,   


"He tried to change the world, but couldn’t change himself. He didn’t get over himself. This is the tragedy of Roh Moo-hyun."

Kim Ho-jin, a distinguished political scientist and professor emeritus of Korea University, described former President Roh Moo-hyun as a failed CEO of the nation in the latest edition of his book, "Korea’s Presidents and Their Leadership," which includes the latest chapter on President Roh. Professor Kim served as labor minister in the Kim Dae-jung administration, and earlier this year, served as the chair of the restructuring committee for the United New Democratic Party, the forerunner of the United Democratic Party.

Professor Kim explained in his book, "The inferiority complex deeply rooted in

former President Roh stirred up emotional hostility toward the haves within

his administration. Later, the entire government showed symptoms of

inferiority complex."

"Combined with the inferiority complex, moral superiority and obsessive ideology made him ’cave icon’. He ignored public opinion and insisted on going his way. He was haunted by the specter of history and tried to mete out punishment for what was long past. As the son of a poor peasant, he had a strong drive for achievement and power. The overconfidence that he gained every time he took risks reinforced his arrogance and self-righteousness. The trauma of being almost impeached aggravated his hostility."

Professor Kim pointed out that after the impeachment attempt, President Roh "was enraged to see his power undermined. He lost his calm more often and becoming more blunt" Kim added, "As President Roh confused reform with destruction of practiced norms, he kept on making use of trial and error. He focused his energy on destroying the establishment and the past rather than creating new values for the future." Professor Kim also said President Roh’s appointment of untested young politicians from the "386 generation” (those in their 30s, who participated in the democratic movement in the 80s, and was born in the 60s) in important posts and forgetting what was required of him, blinded by obsession and self-righteousness, was a perfect recipe for policy failure.

President Roh’s attempt to distance himself from authority and iron fist was

equivalent "to becoming naked before the public without deceiving or concealing,” the author said in the book. Kim added, “He didn’t shy away from using embarrassingly frank and harsh words, revealing his backwardness without hesitation. This was especially appealing to ordinary Koreans who were sick of the hypocrisy and authoritarianism of political elites. However, as a naked female body soon loses its mystic appeal, Roh’s strategy of `being entirely naked` stripped him of the leadership he needed to govern the nation effectively. In other words, his frankness backfired and badly hurt him."