[EDITORIALS]Leaders’ meeting has potential

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[EDITORIALS]Leaders’ meeting has potential

Our Open Party Chairman Chung Dong-young and opposition chairwoman Park Geun-hye will meet today for the first time since the general election. Both parties have publicly agreed that the meeting will focus on issues of public welfare and reviving the economy.
The meeting between the two party leaders is seen as the first step in getting beyond distrust and antagonism to cooperate for the sake of the people. The most important task for Mr. Chung and Ms. Park would be to reassure the public that their parties are ready to stop engaging in empty battles of hostility and coordinate their efforts toward more productive politics.
The “three Kims era,” when political warring was considered normal, has now passed onto history. Mr. Chung and Ms. Park should exercise a leadership of pragmatism and peaceful co-existence, understanding each other’s positions and making appropriate concessions.
Right now, nothing is more important that solving our economic problems. Factories are closing down, one after another, and young people have no jobs waiting for them after they graduate. Domestic demand is falling under the weight of the increasing numbers of credit delinquents and the impoverished.
Besides the economy, both parties have identified reforming politics, improving the North-South relations and overhauling the National Assembly as key tasks. This shows that the parties have read the public demands that were expressed through the general elections.
If one meeting between the two leaders won’t be enough, there should be another. And if that’s not enough, then another. Perhaps setting up regular meetings among the party leaders would be wise.
The policy coordination committee among the parties, which had been called up temporarily in the second half of the 16th National Assembly, should also be revived. The two parties should make it a priority to fulfill the coinciding campaign promises made by their candidates in the general elections.
We also hope to see concrete results from some of the recent discussions on reforming the National Assembly, such as restricting the legislators’ exemption privileges and adopting a system of giving any illegal funds to the national treasury.
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