Park’s irresponsible pledge

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Park’s irresponsible pledge

The government’s plan to revise the Sejong City development project has met with obstacles before even being announced. During her New Year’s meeting with business leaders in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, former Grand National Party head Park Geun-hye said she is opposed to any proposal that leaves out the original plan. With opposition parties arrayed against the move, Park’s disapproval will make it impossible for the revision to succeed.

It’s difficult to watch the ruling party fumble on this problem. The party suffers from serious internal conflicts on all major issues and people are worried about where the country is headed.

It’s questionable that the government has even tried to persuade those who supported the original Sejong plan when it must know convincing them is impossible. Actually, officials seemed to be trying to pressure Park indirectly, which can only provoke her.

President Lee Myung-bak has been quite pragmatic in his foreign diplomacy. He even picked out personal gifts for heads of state. When it seemed impossible, he managed to bring a G-20 summit to Korea and win a contract to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. Why is Lee so clumsy domestically?

Park is the biggest problem. The government said it would unveil the revised plan Monday, and a GNP politician as prominent and influential as Park should have examined it before making judgments. She could also have discussed her ideas within the party before going public.

The Sejong issue is a national one. Blocking any chance at dialogue despite being fully aware of the government’s distress and divided opinion is not the right thing for a responsible political leader to do.

Park has stressed trust, but more important than a political pledge is the fate of the nation. If a stance may harm the nation, then a leader must be willing to change it, regardless of criticism. We expect more deliberate behavior from Park, who is favored as the next president.

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