[EDITORIALS]Leaks and confusionThe recent management of government affairs has been giving us nothing but disappointment. Policies related closely to the public livelihood are changed too easily, and the chaos evident in the handling of national security and diplomacy, which is directly related to our survival, is reaching a dangerous level.
The National Security Council shoulders the responsibility for national security. Based on information from the National Intelligence Service and the military, the council drafts security policies and makes reports to the president. Needless to say, the council members are required to be thoroughly aware of the need to prevent information from leaking. But we have seen leaks of a secret document on “strategic flexibility for U.S. forces,” a matter of vital importance.
Any country has hawks and doves that fight each other, but after a policy is set, they fall into line behind it. That is what should happen in a properly managed government, but not here. Displeased because their policies were not accepted, the officials handed over a pertinent document to a politician.
It is absurd that the true picture of the incident is blurred. The document said the council did not report to the president on the issue for a year after learning that a position had been conveyed to the U.S. government. The Blue House says the president received a report. Somebody is lying.
All of these things tell us that the National Security Council has been poorly managed. The biggest problem can be found in the attitude that if you do not champion military “self-reliance,” you are branded as a traitor. Rather than deliberations on what is in the long-term national interest, the primary concern was whether one shared the same political “code.”
The confusion over economic policies between the administration and the governing party as well as that between the ministries has also gone too far. The policy on ending tax breaks for two-income families has been changed four times in four days. The Uri Party rejects what the administration announces and when the administration said it was determined to implement the policy, Uri rejected it again.
Such confusion is not only apparent between the administration and the governing party. When the Construction Ministry said it would take back the right to approve apartment reconstruction projects from local governments, the Finance Ministry denied that there was ever such a plan. Then only a few days later, in a meeting on real estate at the Blue House attended by Uri legislators and administration officials, the Construction Ministry plan was confirmed.
Policies pop out even before the necessary coordination among government offices, and the confusion and clashes surrounding such half-baked policies have surfaced into the view of the public.
Tax and real estate issues are among the most important matters to Koreans. The government cannot be too prudent in handling them, but this administration is only half-heartedly presenting and then rejecting such policies. The confusion and uneasiness of the public is not their concern, it seems.
Is the disorder seen in the work of the national security, in diplomacy and in the national economy a signal of the limits of this administration in its governance? If not, the administration must first seek ways to reinvigorate its management before it creates more discomfort for the public.