[EDITORIALS]3 Kims: It's Now 2 Against One

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[EDITORIALS]3 Kims: It's Now 2 Against One

The meeting between former President Kim Young-sam and Kim Jong-pil of the United Liberal Democrats was like a replay of an old video. It did not inspire, and at some points, it was even dull. The two leaders said they were concerned for the future of our nation, and in the context of volatile Korean politics, their meeting might arouse people's curiosity. Clearly, the three Kims - here referring to Kim Young-sam, Kim Jong-pil and President Kim Dae-jung - are examples of long and tenacious political lives; they all show a knack for seizing opportunities.

These two Kims stressed that they will "revamp the political environment where injustice runs rampant, and make sure politicians who betray or change camps can never set foot in the political arena again." Good. But the irony is that the pledge was made by two old guard politicians who have a checkered past. Kim Young-sam defected from the opposition camp when he merged with two other parties in 1990 to form the Democratic Liberal Party, triggering questions about his credibility. Kim Jong-pil is renowned for his political maneuvering skills, which allowed him to survive in the political arena for more than four decades. He has demonstrated over that time that he favors practical gains over moral obligation. Their pledge, without reflection on their past, rang a bit hollow.

Of course, the two made some comments worth heeding. They said that the so-called "Lee Yong-ho Gate," shows that the administration is rotten to the core, and that the monopoly of natives from a single region in senior government posts has deepened division and distrust among public. There, they spoke for the public. Their criticism of the administration's North Korea policies are worth noting. The resurgence of the two men, who are seen as "anti-DJ, anti-Lee Hoi-chang," reflects the repeated policy failures of the present administration and the inability of the opposition to put forth a viable alternative vision.

A meeting and announcement by senior political leaders should be statesmanlike and wise, to advance our nation's future. The meeting should not be an effort to extend the "three Kims" reign, boosting political cynicism that there are no permanent foes or permanent allies in politics.
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