[EDITORIALS]Old ways and Kim Un-yongThe National Assembly’s special committee on Pyeongchang’s bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has adopted a resolution recommending that Kim Un-yong, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, resign from his public posts in Korea. It is the first time in 43 years that the Assembly has asked one of its members to resign. In 1960 it called on eight lawmakers, including then-speaker Lee Gi-bung, to resign in the wake of widespread vote rigging. This time the committee found Mr. Kim’s behavior inappropriate in the campaign to bring the Winter Games to Pyeongchang.
It is embarrassing that an issue of this nature is made public and a resolution is adopted by an Assembly committee. We feel ashamed, thinking of how international society will laugh at Korea. Koreans know well that it is not easy to project influence in the world of international sports, as Mr. Kim does. But if we repeatedly try to cover up problems, the nation’s prestige will suffer. As our society has changed, we cannot cover up wrongdoing in the name of national interest. We should take the resolution as a chance to upgrade our society and sports community.
We hope Mr. Kim will behave properly in the future. He may feel that he has been mistreated. We recognize his contributions to the sports world. But we regret his insistence that the committee’s resolution has no binding force and his lawsuits against officials of the Pyeongchang bidding committee who testified against him. As a senior leader of the sports world, it is desirable that Mr. Kim resign from all public posts, including his National Assembly seat and the presidency of the World Taekwondo Federation, so that he may concentrate on his role as vice president of the IOC and devote himself to bringing up a younger generation of sports leaders.
The old practices of inviting international sports events to Korea, through tactics of lobbying and other means, should end. We cannot deny that they boosted Korea’s image abroad, but it is time for us to discard such old practices. The sports community should bring up diverse and specialized experts who will work for sports diplomacy.