[VIEWPOINT]Korea’s leaders mired in the minors

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[VIEWPOINT]Korea’s leaders mired in the minors

The government’s response to the North’s nuclear test has created a bigger stir in our society than the North’s nuclear gamble itself. Unable to decide whether to stand or sit, our government has exposed itself as a minor leaguer, responding shortsightedly, like a frog in a well. We have to open our eyes wide and learn from the premier league.
The FA Premier League is the world’s top professional soccer league. Three things have made the British premier league the place for the best soccer competition in the world.
First is the “creative play” by the world’s top players. In order to qualify to play in the league, a non-European player should be from a country that is within the top 70 in FIFA’s rankings and should have played at least three-quarters of his country’s A matches, which are the games between national teams.
The players selected from all over the world show the most creative play, because they have to use all of their potential to be able to keep playing in the league.
Second is the creative television relay technique, which brings satisfaction to the audience and is a creative form of marketing. The soccer stadiums where the premier league games are played are designed so that even spectators watching from a distance can hear the players breathing. They have the physical structure in which the audience and the players on the ground can be united into one and feel the excitement of the game together. The premier league’s television relay technique is at the top level of the world.
The television cameras can even catch the muscle movement of players’ thighs and show every nook and cranny of the stadium by moving the angle of the camera in a creative way, relaying the thrill and excitement felt in the stadium to the viewers.
Moreover, the creative marketing technique of “selling the story of the premier league” is so excellent and unique that it induces the world’s leading businesses to compete with each other to be league sponsors.
A third-class business sells merchandise, a second-class business sells knowledge and a first-class one sells emotion.
The premier league is the super-class that sells dramatic excitement through soccer.
Third, the premier league is an endless competition of the best teams, in which the losers really lose. At the end of the season, the bottom three teams out of the 20 clubs are relegated to the second league. The first and the second place clubs in the second league and a third club, selected among the teams that finished third, fourth, fifth and sixth, get admitted to the premier league.
In order to survive in this endless competition, players in the premier league devote themselves to improving their play, their coaches work hard on creative strategies and their chairmen do their best to manage the clubs.
All these creative efforts are the core values that have made the premier league one of the world’s best soccer competitions.
President Roh Moo-hyun and the government led by him belong to minor leagues in every respect. Even with the whole nation in the whirlwind of nuclear crisis created by North Korea, President Roh repeats, as if a broken record player, the appointments of Kim Byung-joon and Jeon Hyo-sook to public posts.
He should, instead, think about how to make the people, the audience and the customers of the administration, feel at ease, satisfied and moved at least once. I would like to ask him to throw away the 386-generation [in their 30s, born in the ’60s and educated in the ’80s] way of thinking in which he concentrates on the problem that the have-nots are “jealous of the haves” instead of solving the problem of feeding them.
The government says the claim that we have to abide by the UN resolution, which is natural as a UN member state, is a demand to yield to “intervention in our domestic affairs” and equal to “giving up the right to decide our own fate.”
It has even raised a voice in protest, saying, “Do they want a war?”
It must throw away the childish self-reliance argument. It must take the road to pragmatism that people want. Creativity has been born out of fierce competition and has caused the premier league to leap forward. However, from the beginning, our society does not encourage the spirit of competition.
Thus, the potential for investment, growth and jobs have all dried up.
The club called the Republic of Korea has the potential to play in the premier leagues, but it still struggles in the minor leagues.
That is because its coach, the president, and the players he selected are of minor leaguers’ mentality. This is why the people, the audience for the games, get angry and frustrated.

* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.


by Chung Jin-hong
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