[EDITORIALS]Roh aides need to be prudentOne of the reasons for the Uri Party’s total defeat in the April 30 by-elections was the scandal involving the Korea National Railroad’s investment in a Russian oil project. The party itself admits this is the case. The fact that a close presidential aide is involved in the scandal has influenced the minds of voters. The opposition’s campaign strategy of connecting the morality of the government to the scandal has worked. While the case is not yet resolved, it is expected that a special prosecutor will launch a separate investigation. Depending on its progress, the results may affect the by-elections scheduled for October, the Uri Party lawmakers worry.
As governing party lawmakers, they should express concern over a recurrence of such scandals and demand correction of the wrongdoings. A few days ago, Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, who is also a Uri Party lawmaker, said that we are at an important juncture where we have to control presidential aides from exercising “dominant power.” Although the expression “dominant” sounds rough, we think he pointed out what was necessary. Whether it is a general comment or aimed at a certain person is not important.
To this, Yeom Dong-yun, who is considered the most senior of the presidential aides, said, “The prime minister is not acting prudently.” He even said that the prime minister is ill-mannered. He insisted, “What wrongdoing did the presidential aides commit? I can’t understand why he made such remarks.” It was an open remark made by a first-term lawmaker to the prime minister, who has been elected five times. It seems that a presidential aide himself has shown the necessity of guarding against the “dominance” of presidential aides and putting them under control.
Two days ago, a few governing party lawmakers were attacked by the presidential aides for criticizing the president’s style of managing state affairs. They even had to hear an insulting remark: “They shoot us in the back.” And President Roh’s supporter group, the People’s Solidarity for Participation, demanded the lawmakers resign from their party posts.
They may step forward for the president, but such action will only damage him. Words of reflection from inside shouldn’t be blocked by the presidential aides. Those who should behave “prudently” are the close aides.