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President Park vows to establish righteous basics

Posted August. 07, 2013 05:45,   


The first themes that President Park Geun-hye has made after Monday’s drastic shakeup of the presidential office were “new changes and challenges.”

“Replacement of some members of the presidential secretariat is to take on new changes and challenges more proactively,” President Park told a Cabinet meeting held at the presidential office on Tuesday. “In the second half of the year, the government should take on administration of state affairs by putting priority on people’s livelihood with a new mindset.”

President Park repeatedly used the words “change” (eight times), and “challenge” (six times) on the day. During a closed meeting, the president also reportedly urged her Cabinet members to “roll up your sleeves and more proactively change.”

○ ‘Vowing to correct bad practices’

President Park emphasizes new changes and challenges due to her recognition that people’s livelihood has not improved and wrong practices of the past have yet to be eradicated. Her aides say that since her administration has a long way to go to achieve “people’s happiness,” and the president intends to ensure the government takes the lead in making breakthrough to achieve the goal.

“President Park hopes to make a fresh start by separating the first and second halves of this year,” a key source at the presidential office said. “She will strongly push for it."

President Park mentioned “reform,” a word that she rarely uses in ordinary times, at the Cabinet meeting on the day, and vowed that “I will continue efforts to create a government that is strong and have executive capability.”

“I think that new change that we must pursue before anything is to correct misguided practices of the past and to establish righteous basics, and thereby to formulate a new culture and to create righteous values,” Park said. She went on to cite examples of wrong practices of the past, by saying “What we have to correct and address are bad practices that have continued from the past, including corruptions surrounding nuclear power plants that are directly linked to people’s life, countless man-made disasters that have occurred due to failure to follow basic rules, and companies’ evasion of massive taxes in collusion with ranking government officials.”

The president also said, “We will correct misguided practices, corruptions and irregularities that have accumulated for decades, and create a clean and transparent government,” a bid that is already bringing the public’s attention to her initiative for a "project to change and improve the Republic of Korea." Above all, various prosecutorial investigations, including the efforts to collect the uncollected fines levied on former President Chun Doo-hwan, slush funds raised by CJ Group, and corruptions surrounding nuclear power plants, will likely pick up momentum. Analysts say that there is virtually no chance for President Park to accord a special parole of convicted politicians and businesspeople ahead of Liberation Day (August 15), which was repeatedly granted by former presidents.

○ ‘Path to take in the drive to revive economy in the second half’

President Park set the direction of her aim by saying, “The most important goal in taking the path of new changes and challenges is people’s livelihoods.” Notably, she said, “The initiative that the government should be pushing in earnest in the second half is to revive the economy,” calling on government ministries, political circles, enterprises, labor and local governments for cooperation.

“In the second half, policies that have been announced thus far should be operated efficiently at economic fronts, generating tangible achievements that people can recognize,” President Park said. “All ministries and agencies are asked to share the mindset that their ministries are in charge of job creation and redouble efforts to create even a single more job.” She went on to say, “I urge metropolitan and provincial governments to pave the way for galvanization of investment and creation of jobs through drastic deregulation.”

President Park said “Currently, people’s livelihoods have yet to improve, and many households encounter economic difficulties, and I hope that the political circle mobilizes efforts to improve people’s livelihoods and revive the economy through politics of dialogue and compromise” as she made critical advice to the political circle. “We should keep in mind that politics is meant to serve the public, not to rule and control them.”

Seeking to empower the tripartite committee of labor, management and government, which announced a plan to reshuffle its structure on July 29, the president said, “I hope that the labor community proactively participates in the committee and join other parties of the committee in creating jobs and achieving economic revival, and thereby generate an alternative for co-existence and prosperity." She added, “It is important that all economic players, including labor, management and government, make small concessions each other and exert collective efforts. For its part, the government will also make every effort to support the committee.”