[EDITORIALS]Mr. Roh's mouth

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[EDITORIALS]Mr. Roh's mouth

"As long as the North-South Korea talks go well, everything else can go to the dogs. Everything else is just fudge." The words of Roh Moo-hyun, the Millennium Democratic Party's presidential nominee, makes us have serious doubts about his choice of language and his ideas of governance. "Kkaengpan," the expression he used in Korean to say that all matters besides the inter-Korean affairs weren't important, is an expression one would hear in a rowdy drinking session or a backstreet quarrel. Mr. Roh had presumably used the word to appeal to a crowd at a street rally in Incheon.

However, that is not the language of the "new politics" that Mr. Roh has urged. The level of one country's politics can be determined by the kind of language politicians use. Using profanity, slander and slang under the pretense of being "honest" has given Korea a reputation for low-level politics. The words of a presidential candidate have a significant influence on the national political culture. Mr. Roh, as the presidential nominee of the ruling party, should promptly correct his habits and acquire an appropriate sense of language.

It is true that the North-South Korea talks are important. However, those talks are only one of many issues that any leader of South Korea should attend to, and the leader must balance the issue of inter-Korean affairs with the other issues on his agenda. After the historical June 15, 2000 summit meeting between South and North Korea, the Kim Dae-jung administration committed the mistake of devoting its attention to inter-Korean affairs to the extent of compromising other national issues. Because of such a lopsided governing stance, it was easier for corruption to creep in and for the standard of people's lives to decline. "Everything else is just fudge" makes us wonder if Mr. Roh learned any lessons from President Kim's mistakes.

"There are powers within the prosecutors office that are trying to mess with me." When Mr. Roh spoke those words, more trouble arose. That statement was the second time he publicly expressed his distrust about the prosecutors office. Declaring that the prosecutors are "fooling around" without providing any evidence is not the attitude of a responsible politician. Should Mr. Roh continue, he will not escape accusations that he is trying to influence the prosecution with such reckless remarks.
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