When former President Lee Myung-bak backed away from his trademark "Grand Korean Waterway" project for the refurbishment of the four longest rivers in 2009, critics suspected the two were basically the same things. A report by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) Wednesday officially confirmed the suspicion as a fact.
The auditory report of the four-river restoration project, the third such one by the administrative watchdog, shows how Cheong Wa Dae twisted the arms of the Land and Transportation Ministry into dredging riverbeds deeper and building weirs larger to turn rivers into a de facto canal.
It was only eight months after former President Lee officially gave up his pet project in the face of enormous popular opposition to it because of its dubious economic viability and environmental hazards. The Blue House told the Land-Transportation Ministry to remain ready to return to the canal construction if and when the "social atmosphere changes." But the BAI report shows they waited only until public uproar calmed down.
BAI officials say they found no evidence former President Lee ordered the design change. Considering most Koreans equate Cheong Wa Dae to its occupant, however, it was a most egregious case of an elected leader deceiving his people, punishable by abuse of official authority and breach of trust. State auditors' equivocation on Lee's involvement is nothing but denying their own inspection results. After all, it was the same agency that found nothing wrong with the project when Lee was in power.
But some conservative papers' focusing the blame on BAI as well as the Fair Trade Commission _ which discovered price fixing by the five construction firms bidding for the $19-billion project but slapped them on the wrist _ evades the point. The project was an entire administration's fraud upon the people, planned by the presidential office, hidden by the Cabinet and overlooked by state watchdogs. Still it is not hard to distinguish the main culprits from accomplices in the "grand scam," and legally deal with them in accordance with the gravity of the offenses.
The incumbent administration appears set to distance itself from its predecessor as far as major irregularity cases are concerned, like this one and the corruption at nuclear power plants.
What it should do is also clear then: hold each and every related official, from the former president on down, accountable for the 22 trillion-won white elephant that left little more than neat biking trails, aggravated water quality, extinction of endangered species _ and huge debts for which the government has to pay 300 billion won a year in interests.
Lest President Park Geun-hye share political responsibility, she must set up a presidential commission _ composed of politically neutral experts, local and foreign _ and order it to dissect the ill-conceived, badly-implemented project from square one.
The nation can ill afford to let more taxpayer money be poured into water and its beautiful rivers turn into large, rotten lakes.
This is The Korea Times editorial for Friday, July 12, 2013.
※ 다음에 나오는 문제들은 본 사설에 나오는 중요한 어휘들로 구성된 토익, 토플, 텝스 기출 및 예상 문제입니다.
※ Choose the one word or phrase that best keeps the meaning of the highlighted part.
1. John was dubious about going with me to the dance.
2. The merchant was sued for breach of contract.
3. Because he had provided the criminal with the lethal weapon, he was arrested as an accomplice in the murder.
① trusted friend
② helper in crime
③ deadly weapon
4. The continuous music on special-fare trains aggravates my feelings.
※ Choose the best answer for the blank.
5. To be successful, a salesman cannot afford to be ___________.
[해설 및 정답]
1. [번역] John은 나와 함께 댄스파티에 가는 데 대해 미심쩍어했다.
[어휘] dubious ① 의심스러운(doubtful); 모호한, 애매한(ambiguous, vague) ② 미심쩍은(questionable) ③ 의심하는(skeptical, skeptic), 망설이는(hesitating) ② 자신하는 ③ 열심인, 열성적인 ④ 기쁜, 만족한
2. [번역] 그 상인은 계약상의 위반으로 고소를 당했다.
3. [번역] 그가 그 범인에게 살상무기를 제공해주었기 때문에, 그는 살인 공범자로 체포되었다.
4. [번역] 특별운임(특실)열차에서 나오는 끊임없는 그 음악소리가 나의 감정을 격분시키다.
5. [번역] 성공하기 위해서는, 세일즈맨은 소심할 여유가 없다.
[어휘] diffident 자신이 없는(lacking self-confidence ↔ confident), 소심한(timid, shy)① 사치스런; 지나친 ② 염려, 걱정하는 ④ 전지(全知)의, 박식한
이명박 전 대통령이 2009년 자신의 상징인 ‘한반도 대운하’ 사업에서 4대강 정비 사업으로 후퇴했을 때 비판자들은 이 둘이 기본적으로 같은 것이 아닌가 하고 의심 했다. 감사원의 수요일 보고서는 이러한 의혹이 사실이라고 공식적으로 확인해 주었다.
행정 감시 기구가 행한 세 번째 4대강 사업 감사 보고서는 청와대가 국토 교통부를 어떻게 강압해서 강바닥을 더 깊게 준설하고 보를 더 크게 만들어서 이 강들을 사실상의 운하로 변형시켰는지를 보여준다.
이 사업의 의심스러운 경제성과 환경적인 위험으로 인해 엄청난 국민적인 반대에 직면해서 이 전 대통령이 자신의 애지중지하던 사업을 공식적으로 포기한 지 8개월 밖에 지나지 않은 시점이었다. 청와대는 국토부에게 ‘사회 분위기가 달라지면’ 운하 건설로 되돌아갈 준비 태세를 갖추고 있으라고 말했다. 그러나 감사원 보고서는 그들이 대중의 소동이 가라앉을 때 까지만 기다렸다는 것을 보여준다.
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