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"Korea Needs Change to Become an Advanced Nation"

Posted July. 26, 2008 03:30,   


“Korea is about to join the ranks of the world’s advanced nations. However, it is brimming over with outdated ideological selfishness and anti-U.S. sentiments. Without changes, Korea will not become an advanced nation.”

Park Jae-wan, the senior presidential secretary for political affairs, gave a lecture titled "Administrative Philosophy and Reform Measures of the New Government" at the 33rd Jeju Forum on Friday, which was hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Lotte Hotel Jeju in Seogwipo, Jeju. At the forum, Park said, “Korea’s fate will change depending on how its per capita income exceeds the $27,000-28,000 mark.”

He cited ideological conflicts as the obstacle preventing Korean society from advancing forward, saying, “Only ideological thinking can explain why some carmakers’ trade unions have staged walkouts in protest to the government’s decision to import American beef. Our society is full of pro-North Korea sentiments and sentimentalities that anti-U.S. sentiments are superior to any value.”

He added, “Koreans have strongly resisted the free trade agreement between Korea and the United States. However, they have no interest in Korea’s FTA with the European Union, which will affect their lives as much as the Korea-U.S. FTA. How can it be explained?”

Regarding the recent candlelight vigils, Park said, “Some Koreans violate laws and orders. Under the banner of democracy, some of them look down on police and soldiers, ignore the government’s announcement and go around in groups. Changes should be made.”

He also said, “Worse, Koreans believe that the environment should be put ahead of anything else. When the government attempted to build a tunnel passing through Mount Cheonseong, it faced strong resistance. At that time, I thought it would be better to negotiate with salamanders living in the mountain and persuade them to move to some other place and to come back after the construction ends."

“Moreover, Koreans put priority on the equality of results, not the equality of opportunities. As a result, Koreans do not try to understand those who earn more than themselves and harbor negative sentiments against corporations and the rich.”