[EDITORIALS]Time to wake up, fellas

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[EDITORIALS]Time to wake up, fellas

The National Assembly's Information Committee, which is in charge of supervising the National Intelligence Agency, has remained inactive for five months. This means that the committee that should be reviewing North Korean policies for the Assembly is resting in face of the fast-changing North-South Korean relations and the North-Japan relations.

What is most ridiculous is the excuse for this untimely siesta. On the surface, this started when the Grand National legislator Hong Joon-pyo tried to join the Information Committee in July. The Millennium Democratic Party tried to block Mr. Hong's joining the committee because he was the lawyer of Kim Ki-seop, the National Intelligence Agency's former chief of staff who is being tried for his involvement in a 1996 budget misappropriation scandal. In the end, Mr. Hong withdrew from the case.

There is severe criticism that the real intention behind the Millennium Democrats' actions is in protecting the National Intelligence Agency. Should the Information Committee begin their inspections, the main focus would be the allegations that a former and the present National Intelligence Agency chief had given money to Kim Hong-up, the president's son. This would not be a good situation for the Millennium Democrats, who are more closely associated with the president in the public's mind than they would like to be.

The Grand National Party also shares responsibility for the failure of the committee to meet. The Grand Nationals, when the Millennium Democrats pinpointed Mr. Hong as an "undesirable person," retaliated by choosing their own "undesirable person" in the committee, the Millennium Democrat's Chun Yong-taek.

Should the two parties persist in such unreasonableness, the entire reviewing of the National Assembly could go awry. The parties must engage in negotiations to get the committee started at once. The drifting of the committee only shows the folly of the Assembly ignoring the fast-pace changes that are happening in the Korean Peninsula in their blind pursuit of the presidential election.
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