Time to calm down

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Time to calm down

The Lee Myung-bak administration appeared to launch with ambition, but only 100 days later, container-barricades were placed at the heart of the capital city.

During the June 10 democratization movement 21 years ago, that particular street served as the road for democracy, but now, it is blocking the nation’s advancement. The container wall built in front of the statute of Admiral Yi Sun-sin is the wall of distrust.

Liberal and conservative groups each hold their rallies yesterday, and the entire cabinet members stepped down 40 days after the U.S. beef import crisis, prompted by a TV program.

The president is trying to block the importation of U.S. beef from cattle older than 30 months of age, risking his post. U.S. President George W. Bush also promised his support. The promise will soon be realized. Lee is also preparing a drastic reform measure including reshuffles of his cabinet and the Blue House.

It is now time for the Korean society to return to its normal state. Everyone must go back to their own positions.

When the Lee administration first lined up its cabinet members and when the Grand National Party nominated legislative election candidates, a few powerfuls dominated the process, but that should never be repeated. The GNP decided to allow the return of 15 pro-Park Geun-hye lawmakers, who bolted earlier. President Lee must seek true reconciliation and cooperation with Park by lowering his attitudes.

The Liberty Forward Party yesterday decided to end its boycott of opening the 18th National Assembly. Although it is belated, it was the right decision. If the National Assembly had spoken for the public under the principles of democracy, the U.S. beef import crisis would have not evolved into this chaos.

Even if the president wants to reshuffle his cabinet, the lawmakers must return to the floor and hold confirmation hearings. The United Democratic Party and the Democratic Labor Party must return to the National Assembly, ending their street rallies.

The liberal civic groups must return to their position. Their voices have reached the president, and the president is now changing.

The oval plaza in front of the Seoul City Hall belongs to the people. Let’s return the plaza to its real owners.

From fathers who came out to the streets with their children and mothers who joined the rallies while pushing strollers to laborers who were enraged of hardships of their livelihood and violent protesters who hit the police with metal pipes, they should all leave the oval plaza and return to their homes, schools and workplaces. They should believe in the U.S. and Korean presidents’ promises that no beef from cattle older than 30 months will be imported to Korea.

The labor union, unionized truckers and the construction workers’ union must return to their position and calmly find solutions by cooperating with the government.

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