Sohn’s leadershipUnited New Democratic Party Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu has made determined efforts to ratify the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement.
In a meeting with journalists in Daegu on Thursday, Sohn said, “I have consistently supported the free trade agreement, and I will not hide my position after becoming head of the UNDP.”
He said, “If possible, the free trade agreement should be ratified before the February legislative session ends.”
Sohn promised to put forth efforts to ratify it as soon as possible, adding “I see the deadline as the end of the term of the current lawmakers [in April].”
This is a rare, responsible and courageous remark by a politician. We praise Sohn’s determination and urge him to keep his promise to the people.
We understand that many UNDP lawmakers object to the ratification.
For Sohn to pass the agreement, he has to fight internal opposition and face the possibility of losing votes in the legislative elections. Sohn knows the reality of this better than anyone else.
“On the eve of the legislative elections, it is not easy to convince lawmakers representing farming regions and lawmakers who object to the ratification based on their ideology and political convictions,” Sohn said. “I am thinking deeply about how to persuade UNDP lawmakers.”
Looking beyond immediate gain for his party and making the national interest a top priority is the highest virtue of a true political leader, and resolving conflict and opposition through persuasion is a fundamental of leadership.
Sohn has demonstrated a glimmer of this.
We hope he exercises his pragmatic leadership fully and shows his virtue as a great political leader.
According to a media poll, a majority of current lawmakers agree to the free trade agreement as individuals, but believe it is difficult for the current assembly to ratify the accord.
While they believe that the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement benefits the nation’s interests, they do not want to step out and vote for it because they are scared of losing votes in the April elections.
How can they possibly dream about becoming representatives who will control this nation while they are committing these acts of cowardice?
We urge lawmakers to stop being spineless.