A paralysis too far

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A paralysis too far

President Park Geun-hye has proposed a three-way meeting among herself and the heads of the ruling and top opposition parties. She says she’s willing to discuss all the thorny contemporary issues with them after first explaining the results of the G-20 Summit in Russia and her state visit to Vietnam.

The Democratic Party is reportedly discussing a list of possible agenda items with the Blue House for the meeting, while hoping to put top priority on the National Intelligence Service’s alleged meddling in domestic politics and measures to reform it. Given the tug of war over the agendas and the public’s impatience with paralysis of the National Assembly, it seems the DP doesn’t want to refuse the president’s proposal for a three-way talk. As there was no limit set on the agenda, the Blue House and the opposition party must demonstrate prudent and flexible attitudes over the meeting. If the DP rejects the offer over differences about the agenda, it will miss a rare opportunity to put the Assembly back on track.

On her part, President Park should not avoid the NIS scandal. She must present her clear position on the illegal posting of pro-Park messages on the Internet during the presidential campaign and the opposition’s persistent demand that the NIS stay out of domestic politics and go back to its original role as guardian of national security. The NIS must come up with effective plans to reform itself as the president wants, and the president must resolve the current political deadlock stemming from the NIS scandal by showing a firm will to reinvent the spy agency for the better.

The economy should also be on the agenda. Most common folk are more concerned about it than reform of the NIS. The core issue should be how to revitalize the economy and create more jobs. Given the gravity of that issue, both the ruling and opposition parties must try to dispel the dark cloud through dialogue and creativity.

The legislature must deliberate the administration’s budget bills. People are watching to see how rationally their representatives will behave with fewer tax revenues and more welfare programs. If the legislators just waste time bickering, that’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The opposition has been staging political rallies over the NIS scandal for the last six weeks. The ruling party is partly culpable because of its lack of political maturity. The president has finally come forward to get a conversation going. But we have a long way to go if the president must roll up her sleeves whenever the Assembly is paralyzed.


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