&#91EDITORIALS&#93Waiting for the Roh cabinet

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[EDITORIALS]Waiting for the Roh cabinet

A list of potential candidates for the ministers of the Roh Moo-hyun government has been prepared, and announcement of the cabinet is expected on Tuesday. The list reportedly has five candidates for each post.

With the Blue House secretariat already filled with former student activists, the people are waiting to learn who will take part in the new cabinet. The cabinet is the face of a government, and the ministers will show its characteristics. The principles upon which the new cabinet will be formed have not yet been made public. What is known so far is that ministers will be reformers while vice ministers will be stable figures. Selecting ministers in new ways, including listening to Internet suggestions, is not bad. We see that as an effort to pay attention to public opinion and to select the best people.

We are more concerned about who will join the cabinet, rather than the method of selection. We believe that Mr. Roh should choose his ministers based on performance and the ability to win public support. We are concerned because the new Blue House secretaries seem to have been chosen based on ideology, instead of weighing performance and ability highly.

Mr. Roh will probably dismiss such concerns, saying that the establishment is troubling itself unnecessarily. And yet, the president is responsible for embracing all classes of Koreans. The launch of a new administration should give hope and expectation to all Koreans. If many of them fear an insecure future, the new government may stumble badly through losing public support.

Taking account of North Korean nuclear issues and U.S.-South Korea relations, the foreign-affairs and national-security ministers must be figures whom the people can trust. When Mr. Roh's envoys visited Washington, their amateurish diplomacy was conspicuous. Foreign-affairs and security officials should be chosen from those who have well established connections with the United States based on diplomatic experience. The economic sector is no exception to such a principle. The economic prime minister should be selected by judging who can revive the Korean economy. Mr. Roh should choose ministers whom the people can trust.

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