[EDITORIALS]Watch your languageLee Sang-bae, chief policymaker of the Grand National Party, Monday slurred President Roh Moo-hyun’s state visit to Japan as “model idiotic diplomacy.”
His words created a noisy reaction in the political community. Mr. Lee is even said to have retorted to reporters who wanted to confirm his choice of vocabulary, “Is there anything wrong with my expression? Look for the word in the dictionary.”
Because his choice of a Korean word for “idiot” was controversial, Mr. Lee defended it. “Since President Roh’s state visit damaged our national pride because of a lack of preparation and an obsession for a state visit, I chose the word for the political rhetoric of the opposition party.”
In fact, the criticism of Mr. Roh’s visit is widespread even among ruling party members and Internet users as well as the opposition. That is something the Blue House should think about. But any person’s choice of words is important, especially a politician’s.
While the head of state is engaged in summit diplomacy abroad, it was not proper for a leading opposition member to call it “idiotic diplomacy.” And it was not a proper word to use about a head of state.
If there is dissatisfaction with the outcome of summit meeting, it should be noted point by point. As the president was still in Japan when Mr. Lee made the remark, we have to wonder what effect it might have had on the Japanese. It is better to keep a bipartisan stance on diplomatic issues.
One more thing to be pointed out is that Mr. Lee’s remark was an extension of “rude-talking politics” that some politicians seem to love. Korean politics is being degraded to a very low level.
With the swearing in of the new administration, inappropriate words started to flow from the Blue House. With coarse words, we cannot have a dialogue and expect to make compromises. Rude words will only make our society rude.
Mr. Lee must apologize for his choice of language, but the National Assembly should not allow the incident to keep it from doing its work.