(EDITORIAL from Korea JoongAng Daily on April 17)

In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, President Yoon Suk Yeol promised to "communicate with people with more humility and flexibility and listen to their voices" after the People Power Party (PPP)'s crushing defeat in the April 10 parliamentary election. Such a reaction from the president over the landslide defeat of the governing party is the first of its kind. But what he said during the meeting is quite disappointing given the increasing public demand for change in his high-handed governance style. President Yoon attributed the PPP's election loss to "a lack of consideration about the details of policies even though they are right overall." But such logic is not convincing. The conservative party's overwhelming defeat primarily resulted from the president's unilateral way of handling state affairs. First of all, we wonder why the presidential office hurriedly sent former Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup to Australia to help him take up his new role as ambassador despite the Justice Ministry's travel ban on Lee for his alleged pressure on the military's investigation into the mysterious death of a Marine on a rescue mission last year. President Yoon's domineering governance style also made people sick and tired, as clearly seen in his decision to replace Lee Jun-seok - PPP leader at the time and a defiant thirtysomething politician - with a submissive figure. The president also played a part in Busan's wildly unsuccessful bid to host the 2030 World Expo. He didn't sincerely apologize for his wife's reception of a luxury handbag from a suspicious pastor. The problem is his politics, not policies. The president's remarks show a critical lack of reflection on many such episodes. We hope the president realizes the people's growing demand for change. Fortunately, Yoon admitted his mistakes and pledged to communicate with the people more, but it remains to be seen. Also, President Yoon didn't send a clear message to the Democratic Party (DP), the winner of the legislative election. Given its landslide victory, the pres ident could have promised to cooperate with the DP. But he didn't. After the 22nd National Assembly convenes on May 30, the government cannot do anything without cooperation from the majority opposition. The president cannot even appoint a new prime minister without consent from the opposition. We urge the president to meet with DP leader Lee Jae-myung for talks about urgent issues, including the ongoing medical crisis, before the new legislature opens. The president vowed to "uphold the people's will" from now on. But what matters is not rhetoric but action. We hope the president changes his governance style as quickly as possible. Source: Yonhap News Agency