GNP Gives Poor Rating to 1st Half of Kim's Tenure

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), August 25, 2000 | Go to article overview

GNP Gives Poor Rating to 1st Half of Kim's Tenure


The main opposition Grand National Party yesterday gave a disastrous rating to President Kim Dae-jung's administration over the last two years and six months, summing it up as a ``total failure.''

In its evaluation of Kim's performance at a half-way point of his five-year-term today, the GNP claimed, ``The first half of President Kim's tenu e is characterized by endless policy failures and disarrays.''

As cause of the total failure, the opposition cited the alleged regional favoritism (for President Kim's political powerbase, Cholla-do province); ``imperial style'' of administration; inconsistent and populist reform programs; and fraudulent political maneuvering and vendetta.

The only success of Kim's administration, the GNP acknowledged, was the progress achieved in inter-Korean relations and recovery from the 1997 financial crisis.

``The South-North Joint Declaration is an undoubted achievement of President Kim's administration. The family reunion was also a touching drama, itself,'' GNP spokesman Rep. Kwon Chul-hyun said.

``Except for the rapprochement with the North and economic recovery, however, all of the other state affairs now remain in total disarray,'' the GNP spokesman said.

The GNP's whitepaper on Kim's performance issued in the name of its policymaking bureau, however, stingily evaluated even the acknowledged feat of Kim's administration.

``In spite of the success in overcoming the financial crisis, the economy still remains in a shaky condition, considering the widening gap between the ri h and poor, successive bankruptcies of smaller firms and failure of the corporate restructuring program.''

It went on to project a pessimistic view about the future shape of the economy, citing the market's lack of confidence in the government, handover of the lucrative local businesses to foreign investors and the unstable prices amid skyrocketing oil prices.

The whitepaper even warned, ``To take a closer look at the economy, a second economic crisis remains within possibility.''

The GNP also unleashed scathing criticism against the North Korea policy of the government, in spite of its admission to the success of improved ties with the North.

``The government has taken a meaningful, initial step toward rapprochement with the North. …

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