[EDITORIALS]Lim Dismissal a Clear MessageThe dismissal proposal for Unification Minister Lim Dong-won was approved by the National Assembly on Monday. Although conflicting viewpoints were expressed and the procedures leading up to the dismissal was rough, the approval of the proposal can be considered a censure in the name of the legislature. The National Assembly resoundingly called Mr. Lim to account for causing policy confusions and internal conflicts surrounding a unification festival in Pyongyang.
The disbanding of the ruling coalition and disruption of cooperative relations between the President Kim and United Liberal Democrats leader Kim Jong-pil will certainly create turmoil in the political scene. However, the political circles should resume their efforts to stabilize people's livelihood and recover the national economy.
It seems so ridiculous to see the ruling Millennium Democratic Party react angrily at the conduct of its former ruling party partner, the United Liberal Democrats. The ruling party knew from the beginning that the ULD was a conservative party. They learned a lesson that should be remembered by all politicians.
Now that Mr. Lim has been dismissed, the ruling party must consider how to move forward. The first step is for the party to accept the ouster calmly. The Blue House and the ruling party should not put too much importance on the blow dealt to the party by the dismissal and recover a sense of balance in managing government affairs. The ruling party's complacency and impertinence shone through by not letting Mr. Lim step down rather than putting the issue to a vote in the Assembly.
The decision to dismiss Mr. Lim demonstrated the basic principles of a democratic society. It reflected the public's dissatisfaction with a government that has neglected reaching consensus before making policy. President Kim should accept that decision as soon as possible.
All the more reason for President Kim to make a new start as the ruling party now holds a minority of the National Assembly seats. In order to offset the loss of its coalition partner, the ruling party must implement the management of government affairs that puts a priority on the welfare of the people and enhances cooperation and dialogue with the opposition party. The ruling party should pursue policies that transcend the narrow political interests of the party. That is the only way to pull the government out of its recent slump and avoid a spread of the "lame duck" syndrome that plagues most administrations in the last stages.
However, it should not push its policies by mobilizing its own political base and ignoring the opinions of the National Assembly, as the opposition party fears it will. Now is the time for President Kim to promote a meeting with the opposition party leader, Lee Hoi-chang.
The members of the cabinet from the United Liberal Democrats, including Prime Minster Lee Han-dong, should decide on their status immediately. The prime minister, who is also a president of the United Liberal Democrats, is no longer in a position to lead government affairs after allowing the proposal to dismiss Mr. Lim to pass in the National Assembly. Mr. Lee and his fellow party members in the cabinet should not cling to their seats since the ruling coalition has collapsed.
Ultimately, it is in the hands of President Kim to restore political order. The president should quickly make effective changes to how his administration makes policy and deals with the opposition party.