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Friday, September 24, 2004

Politicians at the marketplace

Chun Jung-bae in NamdaemunAs during the elections to show that politicians are on the side of the people (an earlier note), traditional festivities are the time to go and check the people's feelings (minsim 民心 or the like). Both Pressian and Hankyoreh tell of the cold reception that Chun Jung-bae (Ch'ôn Ch'ông-bae), the floor representative (원내대표) of OOP got in his visit to the Namdaemun market, despite of the fact that OOP is said to be working on a special law for vigorating the traditional marketplaces (재래시장육성특별법).
(from Pressian) 송득두 의류업 운영회장(61)은 "지금 서민경제가 어렵다고 상인들이 아우성"이라고 시장의 성난 민심을 전했다. 그는 "얼마전 청와대 민정수석도 남대문 시장에 다녀갔지만 실질적 애국자는 서민들"이라며 "내라는 세금 다 내면서 왜 이렇게 죽어가는지 모르겠다"고 강한 불만을 쏟아냈다.
송 회장은 이어 "지금은 가게를 내놓고 싶어도 못 내놓는다"고 파산 직전의 시장경제 상황을 전한 뒤, "모든 정책의 우선을 서민경제 회복에 둬달라"고 당부했다. 그는 "과거사 청산도 좋지만 우선 서민경제, 밑바닥 사람들이 살 수 있도록 신경을 써달라"고 덧붙였다.
이에 천 대표는 "언론을 볼 때 우리당과 정부가 경제에 관심이 없고 과거사 등 개혁과제에만 신경을 쓰는 것으로 오해를 하시는 데 사실이 아니다"며 "이 나라를 책임지는 집권당으로 국민들의 어려움을 잘 알고 이 문제를 해결하는 것이 국가와 우리당이 해야 할 일인 것도 잘 안다"고 진정시켰다.
Chun may be correct that the media available to marketplace traders gives an image of the government party that itself would not want to convey, but what can do (except to plan a law that would restrict the market share of the three biggest newspapers to 60%).

By the way, the Pressian piece is not given as a Yonhap article like the one in Hankyoreh, but it has several paragraphs which are almost similar.

Chosun Ilbo was there as well; representative Chun's visit to Namdaemun wasn't really a successful photo-op... Chosun's title goes "invited visitors (customers, sonnim) don't come, better he did some politics instead".

Ohmynews has been at the marketplace as well, in Chungang Sijang in Daejeon. Longer and more-faceted article than the previous two.
Asking the vegetable seller Ms Yang what's the time when most customers come, she tells it's like this the whole day. On the other hand, the keeper of a traditional Korean clothing (hanbok) shop tells that the business is good (changsa chal twaeyo). "Got to say that it's good, because if I'd say it's not good, customers wouldn't come. Please write that there are a lot of customers."
There's also an adjoining piece from Moran Sijang in Seongnam.

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