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Pres. Lee Urges Reform of Prosecution, Police

Posted May. 10, 2010 14:41,   


President Lee Myung-bak urged reform of the prosecution and police Sunday, saying both organizations had lost public trust.

In a national financial strategy meeting at the Central Officials Training Institute in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, he said, “Prosecutors and police have lost the trust of the people on many occasions. Reforming these organizations is also an important challenge. Corruption is prevalent in many corners of our society. The biggest fear is that something people do not understand becomes the social norm.”

“There were cases where police officers who should have been after sexual predators joined them in committing sexual assaults. Though these cases are the exception, the people cannot really trust police officers. Unfortunately, we are seeing more cases that undermine trust."

He added, “It is the same with the sponsorship culture of prosecutors. Those involved might feel regret, yet some might think ‘It’s not like I fought for privileges, and close personal relations with the so-called sponsors cannot really become a huge social issue.’ This perspective is even more problematic.”

President Lee said prosecutors and police must urgently build firm trust with the people, and change their system and culture.

On labor-management relations, he said, “Korea was the only country that saw strikes and militant labor action amid last year’s economic crisis. I nevertheless tell other world leaders that our labor sector is making advances because I cannot leave a bad external impression of Korea.”

“Reforming labor-management relations is another important initiative for the government. Building an advanced labor-management culture by amending labor law is critical.”

On the economy, President Lee said, “A widely held belief has it that an advanced economy cannot avoid low growth. The economic paradigm, however, is undergoing a complete transition at the moment. This means we need to find a way to pursue high growth while ensuring financial soundness.”

“The world is entering a new era of low carbon and green growth. The green industry give us an opportunity to achieve high growth once again, and Korea is best positioned to take advantage of this new era.”

Urging those at the meeting to renew their attention to financial matters, he said, “Instead of providing direct financial support in small sums to the elderly who can still work, we should give them more jobs. If we can energize the lives of the elderly, the government burden will also shrink.”

Presidential spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye described the atmosphere of the meeting, saying, “President Lee said Cabinet ministers are trapped in the past and asked them to break out of that box.”

One of the meeting’s attendants said, “President Lee even said a meeting is useless if we just reiterate what we know from the past. It has been a long time since he ‘scolded’ his Cabinet ministers like this.”

All Cabinet ministers including Prime Minister Chung Un-chan and presidential advisers including Chief of Staff Chung Jung-gil were present at the meeting.