Monday, January 07, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, December 19 2007] Medal of Merit Awarded to Media Secretary

President Roh Moo-hyun has decided to award a medal of merit to presidential media secretary Yang Jeong-chul, praising the "creativity and diligence" he showed in his official duties. The decision, which also included the awarding of medals and accolades to 206 other public servants, was passed at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday presided over by President Roh.

Yang is a celebrity among public servants -- much more famous than most government ministers. That's not because of his rank, but his power. Vice ministers who have more experience and rank above Yang, are often chided by him. Yang's power comes from President Roh. Many Koreans remember Yang for his accomplishments resulting from his "creativity and diligence" and the confidence the president has placed in him.


A few days ago Yang made a personal visit to the Ministry of National Defense and criticized the vice defense minister for being too slow in closing down the ministry's pressroom. The Cheong Wa Dae Briefing, a pseudo-news Internet website serving as an unbridled mouthpiece of the government, has become Yang's personal notebook where he posts his erroneous ideas at whim. The presidential office has lauded Yang's stubborn insistence on pursuing such unjust policies, viewing those acts as "diligence."


In awarding Yang the medal, perhaps what the president really wanted was to tell the public that he and Yang plan to do whatever they want, no matter what anyone says.

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