Flip-floppers should apologizePresident Lee Myung-bak attacked opposition leaders for flip-flopping on major issues in a press conference on Wednesday. He made public comments made by Prime Ministers Han Myeong-sook and Lee Hae-chan and former Minister of Health and Welfare Rhyu Si-min in support of a naval base on Jeju Island when they served under the Roh Moo-hyun administration. Earlier, President Lee criticized opposition Democratic United Party lawmakers for backpedaling on the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.
Meanwhile, Han - now head of the DUP - denounced the president for his “arbitrary intervention” in elections at a forum yesterday. But if someone attempts to block government policies by criticizing them, a head of state should make his position clear.
Han later claimed that it was Lee who really flip-flopped on his campaign promises - including the construction of Sejong City, a new airport in the Gyeongsang region, and the science and business belt in the Chungcheong region. Political leaders should avoid flip-flopping and apologize when they do. Only then can they earn the people’s trust.
Of course, Lee deserves criticism for causing confusion about his commitments. But he apologized for changing course on Sejong City and presented a revised plan. And he decided to scrap the airport project after apologizing for the confusion. For the science belt, he kept most of his promises despite the controversy it caused.
But Han, in particular, is attacking the Korus FTA based on convenient logic - it should be reviewed because the situation has changed - without apologizing for her brazen flip-flopping on the issue. If the international environment really had changed, why did they want to repeal only the Korus FTA instead of the more than 40 FTAs Korea has concluded with other countries.
And do they really believe the security environment surrounding Jeju Island has changed? It is much better for them to apologize just like their colleague Chung Dong-young did. He admitted to his mistake in supporting the pact with the U.S.