[EDITORIALS]Policy issues await Uri leaderThe Uri Party elected five standing members to its central committee at a party convention yesterday. Represen-tatives Moon Hee-sang and Yeom Dong-yeon, who advocate pragmatism, came in first and second while lawmakers Chang Young-dal and Rhyu Si-min, who support reform, won third and fourth place. The party’s members seem have decided that in the third year of President Roh Moo-hyun’s term it’s better to pursue rational reform policy instead of pushing ahead with one-sided reform. We expect Mr. Moon will pursue a stance that coincides with the will of the people and party members.
Mr. Moon was the first presidential chief of staff. He can coordinate between the party and the government harmoniously. Although the Uri Party won a majority of seats in the legislative elections last year, it failed to support major policies due to a lack of leadership. It also failed to fix government policies that are not in accord with the people’s will.
Many issues await the party under the leadership of Mr. Moon. The special session of the Assembly this month and the by-election on April 30 are the imminent ones. Mr. Moon said, “I have no objection to the adoption of a replacement law for the National Security Act, if the ruling and opposition parties agree on it.”
Dialogue with the opposition must be restored as soon as possible. It is more important because international currents surrounding the Korean Peninsula are changing fast. Korea-Japan relations are at a record low over the Dokdo islands issue, Japanese history textbooks and Japan’s desire to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Relations between Korea and the United States have shown signs of estrangement for a long time due to differences over the North Korean nuclear problem. The Uri Party should play the role of a coordinator in deciding Korea’s position in international relations.
Mr. Moon is known as a moderate and reasonable politician. We will watch how deftly he consolidates his leadership in the party and pursues pragmatic policies.