“It’s really difficult to give a generous assessment. I’ve seen people give D’s, but strictly speaking, it should be an F.”
“The economy is in a crisis, and the ruined livelihoods of ordinary citizens in particular must be tackled at once. It’s extremely important for the president and the leader of the opposition party to meet and resolve such issues.”
- Moon Jae-in, chairman of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy
SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — The main opposition party’s new leader said Thursday he believes President Park Geun-hye should receive an F for her performance over the past two years due to various inconsistencies in her economic and other policies.
Moon Jae-in made the comment in an interview with Yonhap News Agency, his first interview with the media since being elected chairman of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy earlier this month.
Moon’s assessment came as the Park administration entered its third year in office after marking its two-year anniversary on Wednesday. The opposition leader was Park’s rival during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Moon especially criticized Park’s approach to the economy, saying the current drive to prop up the economy through stimulus measures will only lead to repeated failures.
Moon said he plans to formally propose a meeting with Park once she appoints her new chief of staff.
“I will put aside sensitive political issues and discuss the economy and national security, which require non-partisan discussions and collaboration,” he said.
On the government’s dilemma over expanding welfare services without increasing taxes, Moon said there should be a distinction between universal welfare, such as education, childcare and healthcare, and selective welfare, which should be concentrated on lower-income groups.
“Our welfare is just taking its first steps,” he said. “Saying that welfare should be scaled back is no different from a malnourished person going on a diet.”
Moon also called for a more sincere attitude toward improving inter-Korean relations.
“During the Park Geun-hye government’s third year in office, it should at least make various efforts toward holding an inter-Korean summit, and if necessary, send a special envoy to the North,” he said, proposing that the government improve ties through a planned visit to the North by Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung.
Kim held the first-ever inter-Korean summit with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2000.
Moon suggested Park visit Moscow in May if that could provide an opportunity to meet with current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the sidelines of Russia’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of its victory in World War II.