[EDITORIALS]Dangerous creaturesPresident Roh Moo-hyun’s comments are troubling the nation again. Yesterday was no exception, as he described himself as an “easy target,” which makes him “very sorry and sometimes angry.” Mr. Roh was saying the former Prime Minister Goh Kun should not have attacked him.
In the meantime, Mr. Roh somehow suggested that he is sorry for something unpleasant about his predecessor. We do not know Mr. Roh’s intentions. We do know for sure that words are dangerous creatures. Once you say the words, no matter what your intentions, you have to shoulder all the responsibility the moment you say them.
Mr. Roh has admitted that, “I often use excessive expressions in speeches.” However, he did not apologize for that. He meant that he had “brought trouble” for saying what he “had to say.” He attributed the responsibility to others, by saying that all he did was explain things. In particular, he claimed that all the controversies have been due to the distortion of facts by the media, saying the media are forming a “confrontational structure” to make him look “ugly.” We cannot but wonder why Mr. Roh alone disagrees with everyone else in the world.
The president shoulders the responsibilities of the administration, and he is duty-bound to end disputes as soon as possible. If he was trying to explain his position, he should have at least offered a public apology for causing trouble. However, he only made poor excuses and evaded his responsibilities yesterday. It also remains a question whether it was right for Mr. Roh to have said that before presiding over a cabinet council meeting, when he should have been discussing the administration.
We are worried even more, because as Mr. Roh said, “I’ve put up with several attacks so far, but now I will do my job and say what I have to say.” We do not know how much Mr. Roh has put up with anything, but it is clear that we have suffered enough confusion and agony because of his surprise comments so far. Now Mr. Roh has one more year to go, and it is our humble hope that he will have a quieter year. Mr. Roh’s comments cannot be free from the coming presidential election next year, considering his interest in it.
Mr. Roh said he would do his job in the administration while saying what he has to say, but we are left to wonder how he can possibly leave the administration trouble-free. Mr. Roh said yesterday, “A good wine should leave no after-effect.” We agree with him on that. We want a president who does not leave an after-effect.