[EDITORIALS]The details, please, Mr. Roh

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[EDITORIALS]The details, please, Mr. Roh

Roh Moo-hyun, a Millennium Democratic Party adviser, has been elected as the ruling party's presidential nominee. His win not only makes Mr. Roh the MDP's standard-bearer for the December presidential election, but has also catapulted him into the spotlight in Korea and the international community. Mr. Roh should rise to the occasion by showing that he is willing to reveal who he is -- his essence as a politician as well as a person -- before the public. He is at a point where he needs to put forth a vision for the nation and the policies and qualities befitting his new role and be prepared for public assessment.

We emphasize that Mr. Roh should undergo a thorough examination because of several worrying actions during the primaries. He appeared to balk when asked about his ideological and policy stance. On the alleged conspiracy by the administration to nominate him as the presidential candidate or on the mention of a "red" complex, he responded emotionally. As political foes and the media attempted to confirm his past remarks on labor relations and ties with the United States, he responded sharply. He should curtail and refine his responses that may be regarded as radical or biased. He should respond to queries about his political views humbly to project himself as a leader. Although he has served in the National Assembly and also as minister of maritime affairs and fisheries, he is yet unproven and not fully known.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Roh pitched reform and national integration, putting forth some policy ideas. We believe he will outline them in more detail in days ahead. But if his winning the ruling party's presidential nomination is a reflection of his constituents' desire for change and reform, he would do well to amplify and clarify his reform and policy visions and how they are different from the old guard known as the "Three Kims." He should not take a different array of policies and ideas because they sound good, but strive to come up with an earnest vision and policy alternatives befitting this global era.

The nominee also faces the daunting task of addressing the allegations of corruption hitting President Kim Dae-jung's family, which entangle the ruling party. We will watch how Mr. Roh, who has avowed politics of principle and trust, redresses these issues.
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