[EDITORIALS]Listen to some good adviceWhen a nation is in turmoil, people thirst for the voices of elders.
Cardinal Stephen Sou-hwan Kim is one elder who has spoken out on the major twists and turns of Korean history. He recently spoke candidly about the problems facing our society in a newspaper interview. He likened our situation to that of a ship caught in a storm on the sea.
In such times, the captain must rally his crew to weather the storm, but President Roh Moo-hyun “doesn’t seem to be doing so.” The Cardinal also questioned Mr. Roh’s credibility. “A president’s literal words must be credible and trustworthy,” the cardinal said. “I thought he would improve by his 100th day in office, but he has shown no credibility and I wonder when he will.”
We would like to say that we are in agreement with Cardinal Kim’s observations. Indeed, for a ship caught in storm, nothing is so critical as the captain’s leadership. But as it is, the new administration points the finger at the “press that criticizes for the sake of criticizing” whenever his leadership is questioned. So the lines are parallel and will never meet.
It is not easy for anyone to offer frank criticism of the president. We hope that Cardinal Kim’s sharp words are not just taken as nagging.
In emphasizing the importance of the South Korea-United States relationship, the cardinal said, “We can lend greater weight if the people are one in speaking out on policy toward North Korea.”
On other issues, he said that siding with labor unions is not the way to resolve economic problems; he said he also thinks the independent counsel’s life should have been extended.
We doubt that the cardinal was siding with the press, even when he said Mr. Roh should “read newspapers that he does not like.” Mr. Roh should listen to this honest counsel.