Make up, not break upThe meeting on May 10 between President Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the Grand National Party, confirmed deep cracks between the two.
It was a disappointment for those who had hoped for reconciliation and cooperation between the two. It’s a wonder why they bothered in the first place.
Whatever the Blue House may claim, the meeting was a way for President Lee to seek Park’s help. The administration is undergoing difficult times because of the U.S. beef import crisis and a plunge in public support.
During the last presidential election, Lee Myung-bak met with Park when events became difficult for him due to Lee Hoi-chang’s candidacy.
At that time, he promised he and Park could be valuable companions in national politics. President Lee is holding out his hand again.
As with the beef import crisis, if Park stands on the opposite side of every policy and issue, a majority of 153 seats at the National Assembly is meaningless. Therefore, the resumption of cooperative relations is important for both the president and the ruling party. It is said that the person who causes problems should solve them. The president should have consoled Park over any harm caused during the selection of candidates for the legislative elections last month and offered various measures to resume their relationship.
However, there were neither proposals nor agreements. The meeting showed that the president’s attitude and judgement are a problem. More importantly, we can see there is a major weakness in the political ability of the ruling party or among the president’s chief secretaries, at least. The government doesn’t appear able to assess what is really going on in the country or provide solutions.
Park’s view is also a problem. She said, [The uproar over the resumption of U.S. beef imports] demands careful listening and is not an ideological issue.”
It is not just mistrust of the government or a policy failure that has led to the kerfuffle over beef imports. Ideological forces against the strengthening of Korea-U.S. ties are involved. They seek to exaggerate problems in the agreement and promote them as humiliating diplomatic blunder.
Park should keep an eye on balancing important national issues. Those who support the new administration are increasingly worried about the conflict between the two leaders.