[EDITORIALS]Compromise yields resultsThe tug-of-war among the Blue House and the ruling and opposition parties over the bill for an independent counsel to investigate secret money transfers to North Korea came to an end ― with difficulty. It is fortunate that the confrontation that might have resulted if President Roh Moo-hyun had vetoed the bill has been avoided. Mr. Roh worked hard to mediate between the two parties and then announced his decision not to veto the bill. The Grand National Party also made concessions. Mr. Roh and the GNP have shown that a political ethic of dialogue, compromise and coexistence is possible.
Millennium Democrats deserve criticism for their earlier actions. They walked out of the National Assembly session during the consideration of the bill, and after it was sent to the Blue House, they demanded revisions, claiming that the bill was procedurally flawed and then pressed Mr. Roh to veto it. Both their tactics and their proposed revisions failed to meet the people’s expectations. In particular, their claim that inter-Korean relations should be exempt from investigations and prosecution was far from the truth.
The independent counsel should determine whether the money was raised legally, how much was raised, who were involved at Hyundai and in the government and for what purpose and through what channels the money was sent to the North.
If secrecy is needed concerning some parts of the investigation, that can be dealt with by mutual agreements to maintain that secrecy. But limiting the scope of the investigation from the outset will be seen as a scheme to protect the guilty and hide embarrassing facts.
Now that the bill has been approved, politicians should ensure the independent counsel performs its duty properly. The spirit of compromise that resulted in the bill’s approval must be maintained. In order to get at the truth, some minor concessions can be made. When the experience of successful compromise accumulates, a politics of compromise and coexistence will be consolidated here.