[Weekender] Park names NIS head as chief of staff

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[Editorial] Revolving door

President Park Geun-hye appointed Lee Byung-kee, head of the National Intelligence Service, as the new Blue House chief of staff, inviting criticism for yet another revolving door appointment. Known as a close associate of Park who was part of her 2007 presidential campaign team, Lee was c...

Updated : 2015.02.27 20:28

[Editorial] Commitment to reform

The allegation that the National Intelligence Service manipulated the press during the 2009 investigation of former President Roh Moo-hyun on suspicion of receiving bribes is yet another reminder of the NIS’ predilection for meddling in politics.Earlier this week, Lee In-kyu, a former dir...

Updated : 2015.02.27 20:27

[Editorial] Dereliction of duty

The main opposition party’s boycott of a parliamentary confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court justice nominee can hardly be justified. It may only deepen public concern about whether the New Politics Alliance for Democracy is really committed to abiding by the principles of procedural d...

Updated : 2015.02.26 20:55

[Editorial] Political reform

The National Election Commission this week submitted draft revisions to laws on elections and political activities to the National Assembly. Its proposals are meant to reflect changing conditions in efforts to reform politics. Serious consideration needs to be given to some proposed measur...

Updated : 2015.02.26 20:55

[Editorial] Yellow dust worsens

Yellow dust swept into Korea on Sunday carrying with it fine dust particles that contain various pollutants, including carcinogens. Although the yellow dust phenomenon occurs primarily in the spring, the country was hit on Monday by what the Korea Meteorological Administration said was the...

Updated : 2015.02.25 19:00

[Editorial]Playing it safe

Three out of 10 middle and high school students in a survey last year said that they had no job goals in mind. The hopes, expectations and dreams ― the typical characterization of youth ― seem to have been snuffed out in today’s youngsters. In the survey of 180,000 elementary, middle an...

Updated : 2015.02.25 18:59

[Editorial] Widening wage gap

A recent report shows the wage gap in Korea has been widening between large and small companies and between regular and irregular employees.The average monthly wage at enterprises with fewer than 300 employees remained at 2.04 million won ($1,830) last year, accounting for 56.7 percent of ...

Updated : 2015.02.24 19:59

[Editorial] Third year in office

President Park Geun-hye, who enters the third year of her five-year term Wednesday, is being pressed to carry forward her key reform agenda and regain public trust in her leadership.Her aides say no special event is scheduled to mark the day, probably reflecting the uneasy atmosphere over ...

Updated : 2015.02.24 19:59

[Editorial] State health insurance surplus

The National Health Insurance Service recorded a 4.6 trillion won surplus in 2014, its largest ever. After four consecutive years of surplus, the accumulated figure now stands at more than 12.8 trillion won.In announcing the figures, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said that the continu...

Updated : 2015.02.23 19:28

[Editorial] N.K.’s unchanged ways

Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang remain as icy as ever despite Seoul’s offer of high-level talks.Seoul proposed the talks last December to discuss pending issues and a possible reunion of families separated during the Korean War. Pyongyang reciprocated with Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s...

Updated : 2015.02.23 19:28

[Editorial] Worry over Cabinet

Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo spent the weekend receiving briefings on pending policy issues from his aides in preparation for a parliamentary interpellation session that starts Wednesday. Embattled by allegations of ethical lapses during the parliamentary confirmation process, Lee has vowed ...

Updated : 2015.02.22 18:17

[Editorial] Chinese tourists

Local tourism industry officials expect about 126,000 Chinese tourists to visit Korea during China’s weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which continues through Tuesday. This figure represents a 30 percent increase from the same season last year.Korea’s tourism sector is becoming increasing...

Updated : 2015.02.22 18:17

[Editorial] Crippled start

Former ruling party floor leader Lee Wan-koo was sworn in as prime minister Tuesday after the National Assembly narrowly passed his confirmation motion a day earlier. The 148-128 vote, with five ballots invalid, reflected the deep negative sentiment against Lee, whose qualification for the...

Updated : 2015.02.17 16:47

[Editorial] Currency swap termination

It may not carry a significant consequence for Korea and Japan to have decided not to extend their $10 billion currency swap line that is scheduled to expire on Feb. 23. But it is still regretful that they failed to preserve the deal, the last in a series of swap arrangements set up betwee...

Updated : 2015.02.17 16:47

[Editorial] Like nursing an infant

The Korean carbon trading market got off to a very slow start in the first month of its operation. A sluggish beginning was largely expected, but this should not allow officials to get complacent. The Korea Exchange, the nation’s main bourse and the operator of the emissions trading marke...

Updated : 2015.02.16 19:01