&#91EDITORIALS&#93Roh takes misguided turn

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[EDITORIALS]Roh takes misguided turn

We regret that President Roh Moo-hyun appointed Ko Young-koo as the director of the National Intelligence Service despite the National Assembly’s position that the choice was “inappropriate.” It is an arbitrary decision that ignores the legislature.
National Assembly hearings are held before the appointment of heads of the National Intelligence Service, National Police Agency, National Tax Service and the Prosecutor General to make sure the president does not make arbitrary appointments for such important posts. There is no binding rule but the spirit of the legislation usually honors the judgement of the Assembly. We are at a loss to hear what President Roh said: “Inspection is inspection. If the Assembly says yes or no to appointments, it is overstepping the presidential right.”
Moreover, insulting representatives by saying “those who wielded power under the old regimes,” betrays Mr. Roh’s promise to encourage discussions and lead to politics of co-existence with the opposition. Criticizing parliamentary hearings because his opinion is different from those of the lawmakers is a self-contradiction, and it does not match with the logic the president used at hearings in the past when he enjoyed fame as a popular interrogator at Assembly hearings.
In order to reject the Assembly’s judgement, on which both the ruling and the opposition agreed, there should be plausible reasons and explicit explanations. But the Blue House is unable to persuade even the ruling party of this.
Either by abolishing them or by upgrading them to Assembly’s endorsement of the appointment, they should be made practicable. The opposition should prepare an alternative, including revision of the law.
In view of rapidly changing security situation, including North Korea’s confirmation of its nuclear capability, it is hard to say that appointing a non-expert is out of concern for the nation, but out of personal obstinacy.
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