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Pres. Lee Urges Nat`l Unity in Public Forum

Posted September. 10, 2008 03:28,   


President Lee Myung-bak laid out yesterday the government’s policy direction in a televised meeting with the public. He listened to questions from panelists and expressed his opinions on his six months in office.

Panelists asked President Lee about his low approval rating early in his term, the controversy over the resumption of U.S. beef imports, candlelight vigils and Japan’s claim to the Dokdo islets.

Wrapping up the meeting, he said, “Over the past six decades since the founding of the government, we have worked miracles while overcoming a host of challenges. We should continue to do so.”

“The coming five years will play a pivotal role in determining the next 50 years. Whether the country joins the ranks of advanced countries will depend on the success over that period. A meeting of world leaders brought home to me that we are facing cut-throat competition for future prosperity. In a situation where unity alone is not enough to survive this competition, the last thing we should do is to quarrel with each other.”

The president said Korea saw hope and potential from young athletes who helped the country finish seventh at the Beijing Olympics, adding their achievements united the country. “If the past clashes with the present, there is no future. We should create an energy of integration and hope,” he said.

“We can do it. Though we are in a difficult situation, we have the potential to rise to the challenge. I am convinced that the Republic of Korea can become a top-rate country in a new era of green development.”

“What matters is trust. I trust the people. I urge you to trust me once again to further develop the country.”

The panelists comprised three experts, five guests and 95 citizens. The forum had been slated for early June to mark the 100th day of his inauguration, but was delayed due to the National Assembly deadlock and anti-U.S. beef protests.