중앙데일리

'JP' wants a Korean parliament

Says current system makes politics unstable

Dec 06,2001
"If I run for the presidency next year, my campaign pledge would be to resign after completing a constitutional revision implementing a parliamentary government before the 17th National Assembly meets in May 2005," said Kim Jong-pil, president of the opposition United Liberal Democrats.

In an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, Mr. Kim said parliamentary government is the best course for the country. "Every day we witness how a presidential system lacks accountability," he said. "The system should come to an end in order to stabilize our country." Mr. Kim added, "I would even form an alliance with the Millennium Democratic Party or the Grand National Party if it meant establishing a parliamentary government."

Mr. Kim went on to say President Kim Dae-jung was "irresponsible" for resigning as leader of the Millennium Democratic Party but not quitting the party entirely. "He was just evading his responsibilities," he said. "I don't see the resignation as the best solution. A president should not make such an irresponsible move."

Mr. Kim said the Millennium Democratic Party is in for big changes. "The ruling party is shifting and we should wait and see what changes will be made," he said.

He also said Seoul should learn the wisdom of the Chinese in handling sensitive issues with foreign countries. He said although the Chinese have strongly protested the allegedly distorted Japanese history text books and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, they have not been seen burning the Japanese flag as Koreans have.

Mr. Kim, who visited Japan in November to discuss the matter of fishing rights with Mr. Koizumi, said the Japanese argument is shaky. "I couldn't go near the Southern Kuril seas, where the Japanese are asserting that there is a territorial dispute," he said. "But Mr. Koizumi accepted my request to expand alternative fishing grounds closer to our coast."

Mr. Kim said with such an agreement, the working-level negotiations between the two countries are progressing.



by Chun Young-gi




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