[EDITORIALS]Roh’s dividing people again

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[EDITORIALS]Roh’s dividing people again

At a Blue House dinner with Our Open Party members, President Roh Moo-hyun, addressing the former Millennium Democrats who became Grand National Party members, said it would be natural for the Millennium Democrats to join forces again. It was an inappropriate thing to say.
Although the president started his speech by saying such an event was an unlikely possibility, his statement was relevant to real politics. The president’s words were in fact made in support of Kim Hyuk-kyu, who bolted from the Grand National Party to join Our Open Party. Mr. Roh’s remark came one day before the opening of the 17th National Assembly. His words made us doubt whether he truly wants the cooperation of the Grand National Party during the latter half of his term.
Co-existence is not possible if one provokes the opposition party. The Grand National Party immediately responded by calling the president’s words “a discord-producing intrigue to split the opposition party.”
Mr. Roh’s words also contradict what he said two days ago. In a special lecture at the Leadership Center in Yonsei University, Mr. Roh spoke disparagingly of the conservatives, saying any kind of conservatism was still conservatism and against change.
However, the former Millennium Democrats in the Grand National Party constitute a political force that upholds the moderate conservative line of their former party. They are different from the progressive force led by Mr. Roh.
Moreover, this is not the 1980s, when the military regime ruled. What the people want is not a restoration of a united democratic front but prudence on part of the president in his words and deeds.
We have many tasks ahead of us. The president insists our economy is not in a crisis, but many people are worried that it is. Even a close aide of the president’s has admitted that national security is a serious concern, with the North Korean nuclear situation, the deployment of troops to Iraq, the restructuring of the Korea-U.S. alliance, the relocation of the U.S. forces from Yongsan Garrison and the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and the reduction of the U.S. forces in Korea. It is time the president focused his attention on welfare, economy and security.

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