[EDITORIALS]Jin's agenda in question

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[EDITORIALS]Jin's agenda in question

Deputy Prime Minister Jin Nyum's candidacy for the Gyeonggi gubernatorial race has reportedly been confirmed. There is no rule that says a deputy prime minister cannot run for governor. And nothing detrimental will happen to the country if Mr. Jin leaves the job. But we need to look at the state of the nation. With the president in the hospital and the prime minister away, who's minding the store?

Mr. Jin has been talking to anyone who will listen ?both here and abroad ?about the priority of an economic policy, leaving politics out of discussions. Whether of his own will or not, it is difficult to understand why he would choose to jump into the political arena for the ruling party.

Of course, the deputy prime minister's likely political debut is not necessarily about political logic overtaking the importance of economic issues. Mr. Jin's political future has been mentioned after at least one previous attempt to scout him ?for the general elections a year ago. That makes it more difficult for him to decline the nomination coming from an administration that has been very good to his career. But if the move arose from President Kim Dae-jung's will, then it means Mr. Kim has not kept his word to the people to remain completely impartial in the elections this year.

With the economy showing signs of recovery, the uprooting of the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, and the sending him to the political arena means an economic cost greater than adding one more governor to the ruling party. Policy discontinuity reportedly will be minimized by filling the post with a competent civil servant. But winning the trust of the people is not as easy as finding such a person after the cabinet shuffle three months ago.

Already there are accusations that Mr. Jin's announcement to bring a logistics center for the Northeast Asia region to Korea was made with the campaign in mind. It is time to make adjustments and modifications in existing economic policies rather than introducing new ones. The needs of the markets must be answered so that a shockproof and growth-oriented system is handed over to the next administration. The career move of a top official must be based on economic necessities, not political agendas.
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