[EDITORIALS]The right man for the jobPresident-elect Roh Moo-hyun has chosen Representative Moon Hee-sang of the Millennium Democratic Party as his chief of staff and Yoo Inn-tae, who heads the MDP's Jongno district party chapter in Seoul, as a senior presidential secretary for political affairs. The two appointments, his first, are politically significant. They imply that Mr. Roh is mindful of the opposition-dominated legislature as he promotes reorganization of the Millennium Democratic Party.
His choices are not bad. Especially, Mr. Moon, his choice for chief of staff, fits the role he will play -- "a political adviser for the president liaising with the legislature and the ruling party." In an unprecedented statement the Grand National Party said, "His appointment will help stabilize the Roh administration and facilitate cooperation between the ruling and the opposition parties."
Hoping that Mr. Moon lives up to the high expectations, we put forward a few suggestions. In Korean politics, the Blue House chief of staff plays a vital role. Almost all previous presidential chiefs behaved as if they were the No. 2 man and violated the law. Now, we should not allow the old vices to happen once again. That is why Mr. Moon's role attracts attention.
As the administration's window on the political community, Mr. Moon should initiate dialogue with the opposition. If he tries to initiate a restructuring of the political parties, a concern among the opposition, Korean politics will plunge into chaos. Such an effort will never benefit Mr. Roh's government. But if he attempts to use his experience and political capacity to promote politics of dialogue and compromise, he will contribute to the smooth operation of the administration.
We agree with Mr. Moon's stand that Blue House intervention in government should be reduced. It is desirable that policy matters are entrusted to a secretary for policy and planning, with the demise of policy related senior presidential secretaries. We have already experienced the effects of presidential secretaries who sit atop government ministries. We put our hope in the Blue House chief of staff of the new era.