[Editorial] A never-ending defiance

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[Editorial] A never-ending defiance

High-ranking officials and senior aides to former president Moon Jae-in have launched a forum called “Saeuijae.” In a press conference held after the founding of the policy forum on Wednesday, heavyweights in the Moon administration appeared together with incumbent lawmakers of the Democratic Party (DP). Though the forum was promoted as a “private think tank,” it was all crammed with pro-Moon politicians.

The policy forum said it aims to introspect about the past five years of Moon’s presidency and further develop policies pursued by the liberal administration. Members of the forum attacked the conservative Yoon Suk Yeol administration for being engrossed with erasing the traces of the Moon administration. “Transforming the decision-making process of the past government into a crime is the same as denying the five years of our country,” said a member of the forum. The forum hinted at the possibility of proactively responding to the Yoon administration’s investigations into the suspicious murder of a South Korean fisheries official by North Korean navy and the Moon administration’s nuclear phase-out policy.

The forum pledged to succeed and develop policies of the Moon administration. Forum members include Kim Soo-hyun and Kim Sang-jo, both policy chiefs at Moon’s Blue House, and Kim Hyun-mi, a former minister of land. They spearheaded the progressive government’s surreal real estate policy. Their policies based on stringent regulations only helped housing prices soar to an unprecedented level and caused a jeonse crisis for people without homes.

Their novel income-led growth policy, criticized as “the carriage pulling the horse,” also backfired. The adverse effect of the liberal administration’s nuclear phase-out and spending splurge still continues. Some of the forum participants are even suspected of getting involved in fabricating statistics to conceal policy failures of the government. What they must do is write a letter of apology, not join forces to defend themselves.

The timing of their gathering is quite intriguing. While judicial risks of DP Chair Lee Jae-myung are snowballing, the next parliamentary elections are approaching fast. With a lack of people who can speak for the pro-Moon forces, the forum is expected to serve as a tool for the group. The DP lost in last year’s presidential election because the voters turned their backs on the party after a series of policy fumbles. It is ludicrous that they seek a political revival of the DP.

“Saeuijae” is named after the great Joseon philosopher Dasan’s residence where he had stayed during his 18-year exile in Gangjin, South Jeolla. He advised his pupils to “think clearly, be well-groomed, talk less and behave prudently.” In a letter to his two sons, the scholar instructed them to sever relationships with the abolished people despite their compassion to one another.
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