[EDITORIALS]Roh, Park and expectations

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[EDITORIALS]Roh, Park and expectations

President Roh Moo-hun and Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the Grand National Party, will meet at the Blue House today. It is very likely that the meeting will end up by reaffirming existing differences of opinion about the coalition government that Mr. Roh has proposed.
It seems likely to end in that way because Ms. Park has repeatedly made public her position against the coalition proposal, although Mr. Roh has raised the issue almost every day recently. In effect, therefore, there is no need for them to meet to discuss the formation of a coalition government.
Nevertheless, there is a reason for the two leaders to meet face-to-face now. There is a need for them to reach a final conclusion to the proposed coalition once and for all. Once a conclusion is reached, there should be no further consuming debates.
As the meeting today is between the proposer of a coalition and the coalition’s designated partner, President Roh must declare, if the other side’s objection to his proposal is reiterated, that he will give up the coalition proposal.
Despite the objections of the opposition, if President Roh prepares a next-stage plan for a coalition, as is being reported by some media, that would amount to an acknowledgement that the coalition proposal is meant for hidden political goals that go beyond the proclaimed purpose of overcoming regionalism.
Ms. Park, as the leader of the major opposition party, must present an alternative proposal for overcoming the nation’s regionalism, since Mr. Roh has proposed the coalition under the pretext of overcoming regionally based politics. A sincere dialogue concentrating on the issues dividing the governing and opposition parties must follow.
A meeting between the two leaders is a rare occasion, so it should not be limited to discussions about a coalition. There should be constructive dialogue on not only political issues, but also on overall economic and social problems. People want problems related to their livelihood to be resolved soon rather than watching endless, all-consuming political wrangling.
What is important is that today’s meeting should be a milestone for resolving pending political issues and a starting point for a new direction, not that of political wrangling and confusion. We hope that the two leaders will produce good results, acknowledging the wishes of the people.
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