[EDITORIALS]A tete-a-tete, but belated

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[EDITORIALS]A tete-a-tete, but belated

President Roh Moo-hyun and the opposition Grand National leader Park Geun-hye meet today. Key figures of the administration and other opposition leaders will join today’s dinner at the Blue House. Mr. Roh is expected to brief them on the results of his diplomatic efforts in the Americas and at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
We do not believe profound discussions will take place at the dinner. Participants will have no time to debate the current controversial political issues.
We think, though, that the meeting between Mr. Roh and Ms. Park should not be perfunctory. The public, fed up with political struggles, also thinks that the two leaders’ meeting should be meaningful.
This will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Ms. Park became the chairwoman of the Grand National Party nine months ago.
The fact that the meeting with the president and the leader of the No. 1 opposition party took nine months to occur is regrettable and the two should take responsibility for that. They should see how much society has been divided, without any trace of unity. Mr. Roh, in particular, will have to see the reality clearly and needs to change his views.
But although the two leaders are meeting belatedly, it is not an one-on-one encounter, and the public is disappointed about that as well. What the two leaders have to do is to unravel the entangled political situation. To do so, they will have to have a practical and productive dialogue.
According to some media reports, some members of the governing Uri Party suggested an exclusive tea-time meeting between the two. It would be right for the Blue House to accept that suggestion.
Considering the current political situation, only a short meeting over tea will not suffice. Still, what is important is to create an atmosphere that encourages dialogue.
Based on their first dialogue, the two leaders might be able to develop their talks further so that they can take place regularly and frequently. We believe that is how politics should work.
Uri Party Chairman Lee Bu-young said, “I hope the meeting between Mr. Roh and governing and opposition party heads can serve as momentum to dramatically change the domestic political atmosphere.” That is our wish as well.
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