[EDITORIALS]Time for 3 Kims to Step Aside

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[EDITORIALS]Time for 3 Kims to Step Aside

The public is disappointed by the senile political behavior of the three Kims ?President Kim Dae-jung, the United Liberal Democrats founder, Kim Jong-pil, and former President Kim Young-sam. No farce could be funnier than this: Kim Jong-pil put forth the argument that he is a "kingmaker" after he met President Kim Dae-jung last week, and now Kim Young-sam claims that he is the real kingmaker.

The three Kims are the root cause of today's erratic political course, but there is no hint that they are aware of their missteps. Instead, they have started to wield their influence on the next presidential election. Nothing is more absurd than their behavior.

When the ULD's honorary president, Kim Jong-pil, met President Kim last Friday after a long period of no contact between the two, many citizens hoped that as leaders of the ruling coalition, they would seek solutions to pressing national issues, such as the economic troubles and the health insurance shortfall. However, after the meeting, Kim Jong-pil revealed only that he and the president had pledged close political cooperation. On top of that, he introduced the theory of a "third shot." He announced that he would not run for the next presidency, but he would endorse and support the candidate who would most likely win the race. In other words, he wants to keep playing the role he played in helping Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung win the presidency. He strongly hints that it would be difficult for any presidential hopeful from the ruling coalition to win without his help.

Acting as if he were afraid to lose clout, the camp of former President Kim Young-sam put forth the argument that Kim Young-sam was the real kingmaker, saying, "Given the current political landscape, everyone in political circles agrees that it will be difficult for anyone to win the presidency without Kim Young-sam's support."

It is not very funny to see these two Kims fight over who is the real kingmaker. Furthermore, what they put forth as their political position is none other than regional sentiment. They are largely responsible for the regional conflict that is the chronic illness of Korean politics, but they intend to exercise their influence and intervene in the next presidential election by playing the regional hegemony card again. It is truly pathetic that they should behave this way.

The nation's situation is so dire that it would help very little even if Kim Young-sam, the former president, or Kim Jong-pil, the perennial also-ran, worried about pressing national issues and provided advice. It is frustrating as they exhibit their longtime greed built on regional sentiment, pronouncing that the candidates who want to run in the next presidential election should receive their permission first. The three Kims are trying to rise again, leaning on each other, with the common goal of maintaining and expanding their political influence. The argument of an "alliance of the three Kims" and the theory of the "kingmaker" are by-products of this ugly attempt.

Their behavior is extremely arrogant, because they completely disregard the people. The true kingmaker is the people. It is sad to see that the three Kims think they can distort the public's choice with the force of their own regional bias. What is more pathetic is that those who have their eyes on the next presidency are flocking to the doors of the Kims, trying to read their minds. These hopefuls should break out of the safety of the three Kims. The prospective candidates are advised to establish fresh leadership and show it to the people. Ultimately, the people will make a judgment on the arrogance of the three Kims.
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