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No changes to be made to existing state policies: acting president

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will not alter existing policies promoted by impeached President Park Geun-hye, his aide said Sunday.

The policies include the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, as well as the Seoul-Tokyo agreement on wartime sexual slavery, which has been receiving flak from the opposition bloc.

"Key policies will remain unchanged," an official from Hwang's office told Yonhap News Agency.
The government currently plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the country by May, which is aimed at improving South Korea's defense capabilities against Pyongyang. Dissenters have been claiming that the battery will hurt Seoul's relations with Beijing.
Last year, Seoul and Tokyo also reached a deal that centers on Japan's admission of responsibility for the wartime crimes against sex slaves and plans to pay reparations to the victims. South Korea promised to end the dispute once and for all if Japan fulfills its responsibilities.

After the impeachment of Park earlier this month, opposition parties claimed that such controversial policies must be reconsidered.

Concerning the state-authored history textbooks, the Prime Minister's Office said the government will make a final decision by the end of this year. The policy to adopt a single textbook for local students also has been criticized, with some claiming it is intended to glorify the dictatorship of Park's father, who ruled the country for 18 years after seizing power in a military coup in 1961.

Pundits said such a stance will escalate the tension between the opposition bloc and Hwang. The opposition parties have been claiming that Hwang should refrain from exercising his power actively, adding he is also an accomplice to Park's alleged corruption. (Yonhap)