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New ruling party leaders needed

Posted December. 24, 2010 11:21,   


He was embarrassed with a Thermos when he went to Yeonpyeong Island, and is making a fuss over a “natural-looking women in a room salon (a high-class hostess bar)” again. Ruling Grand National Party Chairman Ahn Sang-soo told a luncheon with women journalists, “When people go to a room salon, they prefer naturals,” referring to hostesses who did not undergo plastic surgery. What Ahn said was inappropriate for a public figure and made at an inopportune time. Should a ruling party representative have fun using a derogatory expression against women when the nation is in crisis due to North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island? How pathetic.

It was only five months ago when party lawmaker Kang Yong-seok got into trouble due to his verbal sexual harassment of a female college student. Three weeks ago, Ahn, who was criticized for dodging the draft, came under fire when he called a Thermos in his hand a bomb to shell Yeonpyeong. The bigger problem is that he fails to admit his mistake even after embarrassing himself. At the luncheon, he said in referring to the Thermos controversy, “I was concerned but it seems OK now. My image has gotten softer thanks to a Thermos.” He seems to be enjoying the situation rather than reflecting on himself. Ahn is not faithfully playing his role as the leader of the ruling party. The party should think seriously whether it will continue to have him.

It is also disappointing to hear what certain senior party lawmakers and other members said about North Korea policy at a meeting Wednesday. Rep. Nam Kyung-pil said, “It is hard to deny the achievements of the sunshine policy. Let` make a peace structure system.” Senior member Jung Doo-un said, “We should try hard to ease our tension. We need to check the lines of North Korea and our diplomacy, which are all hawkish.” Ruling party lawmakers might hold a different opinion from government policy, but given that civilians have been sacrificed due to the North’s provocations and military tension between the two Koreas is escalating, what they said is inappropriate. Their criticism of the hawkish North Korean and diplomatic lines is not the right thing to say now. The ruling party members seem obsessed with the next elections rather than hold a sense of responsibility or national security and national interests.

Ahn should think about what he must do, and the party should do something drastic that can win back the hearts and minds of the people. Instead of selecting leaders like Ahn, the party should recruit someone from outside the party.