[EDITORIALS]Don’t delay major decisionsWho is taking care of the major national tasks? Since President Roh Moo-hyun announced his intention to seek a confidence vote on his presidency, the whole nation’s attention is focused on it. The speeches of the leaders of major parties, delivered at the National Assemby plenary session where next year’s national budget will be deliberated, focused on the issue. The whole arena of state affairs seems to be drawn into a black hole. Such a situation is regrettable because we cannot afford to idle away our time.
Prime Minister Goh Kun says he will take care of government work, but there are things that should only be addressed by the president. When the one who has to decide indulges in other business, who will lead the country? Even civil servants are confused by the confidence vote and are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
We are confronting unprecedentedly important national tasks now. Such issues as the North Korean nuclear problem, deployment of troops to Iraq and construction of a nuclear waste disposal facility require all-out efforts to persuade the people and create a national consensus. None of them can be postponed. Although the Blue House denied it, there was a report that the government would delay a decision on a troop deployment until after the confidence vote. If a decision on a diplomatic issue is postponed for such a reason, what will happen to Korea’s credibility? Korea’s position at the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program will shrink if our national opinion is divided and political factions confront each other.
Business conditions remind us of those during the 1997 foreign exchange crisis. Because of fierce labor disputes and high wages, manufacturers relocated factories overseas. Measures to stabilize the real estate market were announced in droves, but they failed to take effect. Now that the Assembly is engulfed in a political dispute, the whole nation seems adrift. We have to separate a confidence vote from matters of livelihood and important national tasks. They should not be postponed or neglected because of a vote of confidence.