[EDITORIALS]Mere Talk Is Not Enough

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[EDITORIALS]Mere Talk Is Not Enough

President Kim Dae-jung spoke with the members of the Millennium Democratic Party's Supreme Council for three hours on Monday recognizing the political weight of the party organ. As party president, Mr. Kim has played his role in weighing public opinion about the recent political crisis stirred by the party's junior lawmakers calling for reform. Mr. Kim reportedly will host a supreme council meeting every month and meet with ruling party lawmakers and district chapter heads when the occasion seems appropriate.

Until now the weekly report conducted by the MDP chairman, secretary general, floor leader and chief policymaker, has been the only communication channel between the party and the Blue House. We expect that from now on opinions can be delivered to the president unaltered.

The president reportedly is considering the demand by junior lawmakers that personnel at the key posts of the ruling camp should be replaced "because the issue is related to presidential privilege." A Blue House spokesperson said the president would "mull over" the demand. We are seriously concerned over this remark, which could mean no personnel changes. Improving the system without personnel changes is nothing more than a deceptive measure, obfuscating the critical issues. Those of the ruling circle who argue that what is problematic is the system not its operators share at least one thing in common. Most them will be dismissed if the winds of personnel changes sweep through the political arena.The influential figures of concern argue that giving up their leadership and retiring from the political frontline would enervate the president. They are trying to bind their fate with the president's to survive the attacks of the junior lawmakers.

If the core of the ruling clique meets the expectation of the people, it could make the crisis an opportunity. Yet, the ruling party could lose an auspicious moment forever by taking the situation too easily and lightly. In a recent survey conducted by the JoongAng Ilbo, 57.9 percent of the respondents support the reform demand raised by the junior lawmakers, while only 32.7 percent disagree with the demand. We expect the president to address such public sentiments at the upcoming press conference on June 13.
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