[EDITORIALS]Heated rhetoric on the capitalIn connection with the issue of moving the capital, President Roh Moo-hyun said at a cabinet meeting, “I will fulfill the plan even by staking the fate of the administration.” He could have made such a remark to express his strong will to the cabinet and the people. We feel anxious because it might not be necessary for the president to use such an expression. The moment Mr. Roh used the expression, the nature of the issue turned from a policy and administrative matter to a political matter.
Mr. Roh has made similar remarks since he assumed office. He said, “I can’t perform my presidential duties,” and “I will ask the people’s confidence in me.” When the prosecution investigated the illegal election funds of major parties, he even said, “I will stake my presidency....”
Whenever he encountered a crisis situation, he made such bombshell remarks and they helped him to assemble supporters behind him. If the remark was made as an extension of earlier ones, it would be difficult to expect the issue to be concluded in a reasonable way. The government and the ruling party will push the issue to the end, and they will treat those who oppose the plan as if they are staging a struggle to dismantle the administration.
Mr. Roh thinks the evaluation has been made fully, and as proof he says, “It was a presidential election pledge and a law on the plan passed the National Assembly.” But it is absurd to claim that people gave their endorsement to all his election pledges when he won the election.
The city councils of Seoul and Incheon together with the provincial councils of Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces plan to stage protest rallies, and many civic groups plan to campaign against the plan. The government shouldn’t evade these protest moves.
People were not given information with which they could make up their minds. How will the government finance the trillions of won needed for the plan? Will the new capital be fit to be the capital of a unified Korea? Will the plan contribute to the balanced development of the nation?
We have to go through a procedure of creating a consensus of the people. If the next administration opposes the plan by “staking the fate of the administration,” what will become of this nation?