[EDITORIALS]Why new ministers now?Two month ago, talk of changing some of the cabinet ministers surfaced, and now we have three new ministers. If one summarizes the recent cabinet reshuffle, it could be said that it was a purely politically motivated one.
One has to ask whether the cabinet changes were absolutely necessary just so that two men from the Uri Party who are said to be vying for the next presidential nomination and a three-term Assemblyman could sit in the cabinet.
Although there was much flak regarding the method and the timing of the change, President Roh Moo-hyun didn’t bother to test the public mood. As soon as Lee Hae-chan received the National Assembly’s approval as prime minister, he promulgated the new appointments. If further down the road this should become an obstacle in managing the country’s affairs, it will be solely President Roh’s fault.
Mr. Roh said that his own experience as the minister of maritime affairs helped him to become president. The people know very well that his comments are aimed at the Uri Party leaders: Chung Dong-young who is now unification minister, and Kim Keun-tae who is the new leader of the Ministry of Health. That is why the recent changes are a worry. Let’s hope that these two people do not view a minister’s job merely as a tool or bridge to the presidency. The two men reportedly have already fought over the unification post.
But matters regarding North and South Korea are of utmost importance, and the policies of the Health and Welfare Ministry are closely linked to other important issues. Those posts need full concentration and dedication. The change of leadership at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has also started a lot of speculation. One of the theories is that the president put a trusted man at the helm in order to ensure control of the many sub-organizations there.
Some say that the minister of culture and the head of the National Assembly’s cultural affairs committee are appointed as people who will play the role of putting pressure on conservative newspapers. Let’s hope that is not the case.
With the changes, people in their 50s are at the pinnacle of power. People will watch whether their characters and creativity work in harmony.