[EDITORIALS]Big issue, flaring tempersThe disputes over the plan to move the nation’s capital seem to be overheating ― that’s not desirable. Of course, any Korean can have an opinion for or against the relocation plan and can argue about it. But the object of such arguments must be the same ― the good of the nation. Both those in favor of and against the relocation plan should have the same objective.
But that is not being recognized in the current situation. President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday strongly criticized the Grand National Party for a “dangerous political attack that shakes the democratic system.” He also insisted the opposition party “seems to have a foul intention to encourage a new regionalism by inciting the Seoul metropolitan area and the provinces into conflict.” With such an attitude, Mr. Roh will not be able to hold rational discussions.
The government and the ruling party, which are promoting the plan to move the capital, may have reasonable grounds. But they are self-righteous to say that only they are right and all who oppose the relocation plan, including the opposition parties, some media and even elder leaders of society, are wrong. Mr. Roh admitted yesterday that “the people could think the public discussions were insufficient.” But he condemned opponents of the plan as having “foul intentions,” a contradiction.
It is also absurd that in a press conference on Sunday, Kim Byong-joon, the Blue House’s policy planning head, linked the opposition to the plan with the disobedience to the results of the presidential election. And Chun Jung-bae, floor leader of the ruling Uri Party, said the opposition to the relocation plan was designed to “protect the vested interests of the rich and the upper class.” In a recent poll, 55 percent of the polled said they opposed the relocation plan. Then are 55 percent of the public rich? The ruling party should listen to the working-class people’s complaint: “We have difficulties even making a living, so why are you discussing relocation of the capital?”
Now, a lawsuit against the relocation plan has been filed with the Constitutional Court. The court’s deliberations, talks between the ruling and opposition parties and the discussions in a committee to be formed by the political parties, the ministries and the Blue House should lead to sound discussions on the relocation plan.
Any move to connect the issue to a regime’s political platform would be commiting a sin in the nation’s history.