[EDITORIALS]An unsatisfying mealYesterday’s Blue House meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and the leaders of the four political parties was disappointing. There were no meaningful exchanges of opinions on Mr. Roh’s foreign tour and the participants also failed to use the meeting to try to resolve the current conflicts between the governing and opposition parties. There was only a superficial significance: Political leaders talked over dinner. That is not what the public wants.
Mr. Roh said in a welcoming speech, “The public is concerned that the current political struggles may not be resolved when there are many difficulties domestically and internationally.” That is, we believe, why the dinner meeting was arranged yesterday. But what was the outcome? The Grand National leader, Park Geun-hye, didn’t give much importance, saying only, “I don’t know,” and other Grand Nationals expressed dissatisfaction.
We do not know why the Blue House arranged that kind of meeting. When Ms. Park asked Mr. Roh whether he was promoting a second inter-Korean summit, Mr. Roh said, “There is no preparation or progress yet. When we are at such a stage as looking at the possibility of a summit, we cannot make public what is going on.” The answer by Mr. Roh is confusing; we do not know what he is really thinking.
Also, when asked to use some political power to take care of the four reform legislative bills that are mired in controversy at the National Assembly, Mr. Roh repeatedly said, “The Assembly and the political parties should play the central role in politics.” We believe he dodged discussions of a current important issue that has divided the nation.
Mr. Roh said, “Now, the time of politics led by boss politicians is past,” and “The president will not control, command, or monitor his party any more.” That is right in principle. But regarding the president as an “ordinary party member” is absurd.
Obviously, the fate of Uri’s four reform bills is directly related to the thinking of Mr. Roh. Still, the president dodged the reform bill issue, saying that administration affairs should be separated from the political affairs of the parties.
This meeting of leading politicians, that took time and pain to arrange, ended in disappointment.
They played with words and passed all the responsibility for an outcome on to others.