[EDITORIALS]A farewell to factionalism

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[EDITORIALS]A farewell to factionalism

"From now, the word 'Donggyo-dong faction' should not be used and no meetings by that name should be held." President Kim Dae-jung's words, whether his own pledge or a plea to his followers, remind us vividly that the era of the "Three Kims" is over. The dissolution of the Donggyo-dong faction is the natural consequence of the leadership change and the shift of star players. Mr. Kim intends that the Donggyo-dong faction should not be an obstacle to Roh Moo-hyun's reforms. This expression of will shows that Mr. Roh's era is opening dynamically.

The past 40 years of political glory and humiliation that President Kim experienced while leading Korea's troubled politics through a tumultuous period, is condensed in the word "Donggyo-dong." It led the democratization movement together with Kim Young-sam's "Sangdo-dong faction." It also achieved the glorious transfer of power by election. But it left the remnants of old vices such as an imperial presidency, blind loyalty by followers, political corruption and regionally biased personnel policies. A new spirit and political order are required. It is natural that Mr. Kim, the boss of the Donggyo-dong faction, chooses to announce its dissolution.

Mr. Kim's announcement confirms that the historical evaluation of his administration has started. However, those who have played leading roles in the administration are not prepared to face the evaluation of history. The statement by the Blue House chief of staff, Park Jie-won, that "the current administration is neither a failed government, nor a corrupt regime," is not appropriate. His comment that "Korean Internet users are calling for President Kim's achievements to be re-evaluated," could arouse suspicion that the Blue House is trying to mobilize public opinion. It is also suspected that political calculation is blocking the controversy over the merits and demerits of the current administration and criticism of Mr. Kim's close aides. The Dong-gyo-dong faction's interventions in political administration will be traced and analyzed. The Roh Moo-hyun era should learn from it.
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