[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Foreign policy shakeup

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Foreign policy shakeup

This is with regard to “New foreign policy team calls approach ‘balanced pragmatism’” (Feb. 15).
First I want to thank you for an extremely helpful assessment of the meaning of the Roh government’s personnel changes in recent weeks.
We in Washington who care about this need all the help we can get, and yours is one of the very best articles I have seen.
For me the outstanding question is captured by the comment in your article by SNU professor Lee Geun: “Balanced pragmatism is a name, a slogan,” said Mr. Lee. “But I question whether the administration has the institutional, theoretical and political basis to carry through a balanced, pragmatic diplomacy.”
On an institutional basis, he said that a powerful government agency that is able to mediate differences among ministries should exist.
The administration also must have a theory with which to persuade the public and the international community of the legitimacy of its policy decisions.
But he noted that domestic politics is polarized between the “conservative” and “liberal” groups, without a solution to creating a common ground.

by Stephen Costello
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