Corruption and Infighting Roil S. Korea ; President Roh Moo-Hyun's Foreign Minister Resigned in a Rift over How to Balance Relations with the US and N. Korea

By Donald Kirk Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 16, 2004 | Go to article overview

Corruption and Infighting Roil S. Korea ; President Roh Moo-Hyun's Foreign Minister Resigned in a Rift over How to Balance Relations with the US and N. Korea


Donald Kirk Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The forced resignation Thursday of Korea's foreign minister added to the turmoil within a government already shaken by corruption scandals, torn by internal divisions, and weakened by conservative foes in control of the National Assembly.

Yoon Young Kwan, a former Seoul National University professor who had seemed to support President Roh Moo-hyun's desire for an "independent" policy vis-a-vis the United States, was finally forced out after revelation of a deep rift between his subordinates and Roh's closest aides.

Differences focused on how to rationalize the desire of the Bush administration for a firm policy toward North Korea with efforts by Mr. Roh to pursue the "sunshine policy" of reconciliation advocated by his predecessor, Kim Dae Jung. The rift emerged in recent days amid reports that one leading foreign ministry official had accused members of Roh's entourage of fanatic pursuit of their enemies by likening them to Afghanistan's Taliban.

In response, Jeong Chan Yong, a senior secretary at the Blue House, the center of presidential power, said bluntly that foreign ministry officials had "failed to effectively implement the independent foreign policy direction" of the government.

While Mr. Yoon's resignation appeared initially as a setback for closer ties between Seoul and Washington in the midst of an international standoff with North Korea, some analysts questioned the extent to which the furor would force a shift in outlook.

"This is some kind of bureaucratic infighting between institutions," says Kim Tae Hwan of Yonsei University's school of international studies. "Professional diplomats tended to look down on the National Security Council staff surrounding the president and complained they had no idea what diplomacy involves. I don't think it symbolizes a change in policy."

But the incident threatens to consume more of the Roh administration's time and energy, already dissipated by seemingly nonstop corruption scandals. Aides say that the president is consumed by the scandals, so much so that he has little energy left to deal with pressing topics like the economy and North Korea.

'I regret all this'

In his New Year's press conference on Wednesday, the South Korean president acknowledged the scandal has been a distraction. "The public became upset over the issue of illegal presidential election campaign funds, coupled with faults surrounding me," Roh said. "Once again, I regret all this."

Corruption appears certain to grab headlines, taking precedence over North Korea, in the run-up to National Assembly elections in April. In the upcoming contest, he hopes his followers can cut into the majority held by the conservative Grand National Party, an obstacle to whatever he hopes to do on substantive issues.

However, Roh may end up losing support, in part because the southwestern Cholla region is now divided on his presidency after having been largely responsible for his victory in 2002. More than 95 percent of the voters from Cholla cast their ballots for Roh even though he's from near Pusan, the major center in the southeast. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Corruption and Infighting Roil S. Korea ; President Roh Moo-Hyun's Foreign Minister Resigned in a Rift over How to Balance Relations with the US and N. Korea
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.