&#91EDITORIALS&#93Wary eye on Nosamo

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[EDITORIALS]Wary eye on Nosamo

Nosamo, the Roh Moo-hyun fan club, contributed greatly to Mr. Roh's election victory. At a dinner with the group last weekend, President-elect Roh expressed his special affection for the club, saying, "All of you and I are the culprits who gave rise to a large-scale incident." In that crude expression of gratitude, a sense of solidarity overflows. His choice of expression and vocabulary defied the sense of dignity that a president normally maintains; the club has a special place in his heart.

So the future of Nosamo is not only of interest to the club itself, but to the public at large. Mr. Roh remarked at the dinner, "We have to share our responsibilities in the future. I want you all to continue playing a good role," and those comments have a delicate repercussion. In the political community, they are seen as a request to the club to play a role in the general election in April 2004. The opposition party suspects it shows an intent to support the club and use it as an agent to reverse the Millennium Democratic Party's status as a minority party in the National Party. The future of Nosamo will certainly become a political issue.

The image of Nosamo is bifurcated. On the positive side, the voluntary and direct participation in politics and the revolutionary changes in elections brought by the Internet are praised. On the other hand, there are such negative images as an Internet Red Guard, violent words in cyberspace and an appeal to populism. Mr. Roh's victory was possible because the positive images exceeded negative ones. But can the volunteer spirit and purity of the club be maintained until next year's legislative elections? Mr. Roh already stands at the top of his power. The voice of Nosamo is likely to be heard as an order in the ears of the public. The fall of the Democratic Mountaineering Club under former President Kim Young-sam was a lesson. The reforms of the Roh Moo-hyun era will succeed only when the people participate. And as a starting point for national unity, Nosamo should not monopolize the role of watchdog.

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