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Revolutionary committees

Aug 26,2017
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Five committees created in the Park Geun-hye administration — the Presidential Committee for National Cohesion, the Presidential Committee on Young Generation, the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment, the Unification Preparatory Committee and the Prime Minister’s Government 3.0 Committee — have all been closed.

This is not the first time that a new administration closes committees established in the previous administration. The Park Geun-hye administration closed four committees, including the Committee on Future Planning, from the Lee Myung-bak administration, which also scrapped five committees established by the preceding Roh Moo-hyun administration.

They simply don’t want to put new wine in old bottles. In the first 100 days of the Moon Jae-in administration, some 10 committees have been set up. The Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be launched next month.

The IT industry is not welcoming this committee. The committee hasn’t even begun to operate, but they are concerned about inconsistency. The organization is directly under the president, and the chair and 15 cabinet members will be included. It seems that the committee will be the command center of the Moon administration’s preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.

But the committee installation plan that passed the cabinet meeting last week only includes five members, the Minister of Science and ICT, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Minister of Employment and Labor, Minister of SMEs and Start-ups and the presidential aide for science and technology. Other ministries are not included, as if the fourth industrial revolution is an extension of the IT and venture industry development.

At first, it was supposed to have 30 members, 10 government and 10 civilian participants. Now, the number of civilian members is increased to 25, suggesting that the private sector is leading the effort. The structure of the new organization shows how passionate the government is on the issue. Unlike the Presidential Committee on Job Creation, which is headed by the president personally, some worry that the fourth industrial revolution committee may remain a peripheral organization.

The keyword of the fourth industrial revolution is integration, but the exchanges among ministries are not active. In the 325 documents exchanged between the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy from January to August, only one is on the fourth industrial revolution.

As the fourth industrial revolution draws near, the Blue House and related ministries need to gear up better.

JoongAng Ilbo, Aug. 25, Page 29

*The author is an industrial news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.

HA SUN-YOUNG