Stop the political squabbling

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Stop the political squabbling

The chairman of the opposition Democratic Party Kim Han-gill yesterday proposed a series of compromises to the ruling Saenuri Party in an effort to end the latest round of exhaustive political battles. He asked them to focus on the legislative probe into the National Intelligence Service’s alleged meddling in the December presidential election and on finding ways to improve ordinary citizens’ livelihoods. He also suggested proceeding jointly with the investigation into the missing transcript of the conversation between President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at a 2007 summit.

Chairman Kim’s remarks are basically right. But there needs to be some preconditions to persuade the people - who are sick and tired of the fierce fights over President Roh’s alleged disavowal of the Northern Limit Line on the Yellow Sea - to believe the veracity of his words. Both parties must declare their positions on the issue in a responsible way, given the extreme fatigue the people have with the arguing.

They must pronounce the NLL is our de facto maritime border which must be protected no matter what. After that, they should stop the political fights based on presumptions. As long as these intense conflicts persist, no legislative probe will end well, nor will any attempt to improve the people’s livelihoods bear fruit.

When it comes to the issue of the lost transcript, the prosecution or special prosecutors must get to the bottom of the case to find out why it disappeared. And then both parties should respect the results of the investigation. Lawmakers from both parties must stop their dirty smear campaigns against each other until prosecutors come up with solid conclusions. At the moment, the Saenuri Party holds the Roh administration responsible for the missing transcript, as the DP does to the Lee Myung-bak administration. Groundless allegations and mudslinging only intensify confrontations and breed new political battles. Some legislators are demanding that the Roh faction in the DP tell the truth, but the Saenuri Party would hardly accept it even if Roh’s aides did so. The truth must eventually be discovered through an independent investigation.

Chairman Kim said that no politics are worse than the politics which ignore the livelihoods of the people. But the bad politics he mentioned are a byproduct of the intense fights between both camps. We urge the ruling and opposition parties to devote their energies to taking care of people’s livelihoods and immediately put an end to these unending political squabbles.

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