Master plan for the NorthThe government just announced its first general plan to improve inter-Korean ties and it has reported that plan to the National Assembly.
The plan outlines a series of measures that are to take place from 2008 to 2012, a period covering the term of the next administration.
The plan includes measures such as making it feasible for South Korean families’ to bequeath their assets to their North Korean relatives, while establishing missions for economic cooperation in Pyongyang and Seoul.
President Roh Moo-hyun, who has only three months left in office, is trying to draw up a plan for the next president.
This is nonsense.
When the government announced its plan, it did so while citing a law regarding inter-Korean relations that went into effect in June of 2006.
That law states that every five years such a plan should be established. The unification ministry argued that the announcement was done not out of political considerations but in line with the law.
When Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung reported the plan to the National Assembly, he said, “This plan needs to be respected (by the next government) and I think it will be respected.”
This government is trying to force-feed its policy toward the North onto the next administration.
The policy on the North reflects the ideological theme of a government.
It is only natural for the next administration to examine the policy regarding the North implemented by the previous administration.
Trying to frame a policy for the next administration is beyond the current government’s rights and is an act of arrogance.
It is only logical that the establishment of such a master plan for the next five years be a task for the next administration.
This plan does not include budget details, and enormous funds are needed.
To argue that this plan is final with a mere report to the National Assembly is an act of stubbornness.
The 13th article of the inter-Korean relations law states that any plan regarding North Korea that requires a budget must have the approval of the National Assembly.
A master plan that will provide the basis for policy toward North Korea for the next five years should be established by the next administration with the approval of the National Assembly.