Sweeping plans for reform are outlined by Roh

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Sweeping plans for reform are outlined by Roh

President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday urged reform across the social spectrum, singling out the government’s spy agency, big business, and the media as targets for his initiatives to change the status quo.
Speaking in a two-day policy debate in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, Mr. Roh said he would not be receiving any reports from the National Intelligence Agency about the activities of politicians. “I will not be hearing about which lawmaker said what and who joined forces with whom,” he said, adding he had not received one such report since taking office Feb. 25.
The jobs being phased out at the agency will be offset by stepped-up research intended to implement Mr. Roh’s plans to make Korea a key nation in the new era of East Asia.
Mr. Roh said he expected the political community to take the initiative to reform itself. If it does not happen, “I plan to take charge and lead the members.” He cannot speak for the Grand National Party, he said, but “politics being relative, other parties will not be able to stand by without undertaking reform.”
The business community will see a relentless drive by the government to improve the system. Mr. Roh proposed using “market reform” to replace “jaebeol reform,” referring to Korean conglomerates that are still largely family owned and controlled. Business leaders will no longer be able to lie low to weather any storms, he said ― they must change.
Media reform should also be self-initiated, he said.

by Kang Min-seok, Seo Seung-wook

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