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Political Tit-for-Tat on IMF Bailouts

Mar 10,2000
The row over responsibility for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailouts has come to the fore once again as former president Kim Young-sam's political actions were put under the spotlight, in the aftermath of the Grand National Party's startling election nominations.
The Democratic People's Party raised the question first in a bid to woo voters in Pusan and Yongnam (North and South Kyongsang Province) who support Mr. Kim.
On March 8 during a speech at the founding rally, Representative Cho Soon asserted that the Kim Young-sam government was not solely accountable for the IMF situation, as it was a product of the developmental economic structure of the 1970s. Supreme Member Chang Ki-pyo said during a Pusan rally, "Blame for the IMF crisis does not lie solely with Kim Young-sam. Kim Dae-jung, Lee Hoi-chang, and Rhee In-je are equally responsible because they prevented the Kia Motor crisis from being resolved."
Lee Hoi-chang, president of the Grand National Party, criticized the problems arising during the process of overcoming the IMF crisis in a Pusan resolution rally held March 9. He said, "The current regime takes the credit for the economic recovery, but in fact it has ruined the economy."
The Millennium Democratic Party jumped into the fray on March 10, claiming that Kim Young-sam and Lee Hoi-chang, then the ruling party presidential candidate, were responsible for causing the IMF bailout crisis. They urged Lee to apologize to the Korean people.
In connection with the strife between the three parties, Chung Woo-taek, policy committee chairman of the United Liberal Democrats, commented that the Kim Young-sam government's lack of crisis management exacerbated the crisis, although the economic structure was partially to blame.




by Park Seung-hee




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