[EDITORIALS]A poor choice of wordsA recent remark by Han In-ok, wife of the Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang, has created a controversy in political circles. Speaking at an interparty meeting, she said that the opposition party should "win the upcoming presidential election at all costs." The meeting was attended by the wives of GNP lawmakers, heads of local party chapters, local government chiefs and members of local councils who belong to the GNP. Though it was not a big crowd, we don't think the remarks were proper for a gathering of more than 700 people.
It is understandable how much psychological suffering Mr. Lee's family members have undergone because of the investigations into his son's alleged draft-dodging. If Kim Dae-eop's recorded tapes about Mr. Lee's son turn out to be fabrications, Mrs. Lee's bitterness, which she expressed as "My heart was torn apart with agony and my mind was left empty" can be fully understood.
But the timing of her remarks was not appropriate. That is, the investigation has not yet been completed. Even if the prosecutors conclude that the case was rigged, it is not advisable to say such words. Whether or not there were irregularities, there are people who still harbor suspicions that both of Mr. Lee's sons were exempted from military service for being underweight. The results of an investigation cannot say for certain that the sons deserved military exemptions.
Mrs. Lee's remark that "the presidential election should be won at any cost" sounds as if she wants the victory to avenge investigations into the alleged draft-dodging. It sounds as if she meant that the goal of winning the presidential election is not for the nation, the people or for any other worthy cause, but for reprisal of the draft- dodging scandal. Mrs. Lee obviously made her remarks at the wrong time and the wrong place.
As the wife of the majority party's presidential candidate, she should be able to read people's minds. The fact that both her sons were exempted from military service will work as a minus factor for her husband. And she is not free from blame. As the mother of two sons who could not serve in the army, and as a wife of a presidential candidate, she should have been much more prudent with her words.