[EDITORIALS]Mr. President, Reform MDP Now

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[EDITORIALS]Mr. President, Reform MDP Now

The strife between the Millennium Democratic Party and the Blue House, stemming from Chairman Kim Joong-kwon's refusal to perform official party duties, is serious enough that harsh words are being exchanged. "He is too greedy to want to run for a National Assembly seat in the by-election" and "Blue House aides from the party are playing around" are some of the things being said in the political community.

Attempts to reject proposals for Unification Minister Lim Dong-won's dismissal with the cooperation of the United Liberal Democrats have fallen apart. Kim Jong-pil's "middle road" proposal as the honorary president of the United Liberal Democrats was concluded as being Mr. Lim's voluntary resignation. Trouble within the ruling party and outside the party is unfolding.

Blue House aides claim that good timing for government reforms is soon after the regular session of the National Assembly at the end of December. They held the cabinet's teamwork and consistency in passing civic and reform bills as reasons for the delay. They argue that only then could the party work to revive the economy and gain public confidence. But the teamwork between the Blue House and the ruling party, which forms the backbone of government management, has disintegrated to the point of no return. Mr. Kim said to President Kim Dae-jung, "The party must be reformed to regain the public's confidence," criticizing the shallow understanding of the state of affairs that Blue House aides demonstrate.

President Kim's priority in this situation has become inevitably government reform. If reform is postponed again, the general public would attribute the delay to the President's "complacency and stubbornness."

Party and government reform should start with Mr. Lim's dismissal. It has become difficult for Mr. Lim to avoid taking responsibility for the division in public opinion over the Liberation Day celebrations in Pyongyang. It is difficult to find a way around firing Mr. Lim because of the shaky cooperative relations with the United Liberal Democrats. Therefore, Mr. Lim's voluntary resignation could be an excellent solution to the problem. And Blue House aids should be realigned. President Kim is in his worst crisis. He must make a tough political choice.

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