President Moon Jae-in on Friday vowed to complete the revision of the Constitution by June 2018, at a meeting with floor leaders of the country’s five political parties. The meeting, a two-hour long luncheon at Cheong Wa Dae, was Moon’s first with the parties leaders since he took office 10 days ago.
At the meeting, the president and the leaders of the five parties discussed a range of issues including revising the Constitution and improving communications among the parties, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun said in the press briefing afterwards.
The party leaders in attendance were Rep. Woo Won-shik of ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Rep. Kim Dong-cheol of the People‘s Party, and Rep. Chung Woo-taik from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, Joo Ho-young of the splinter conservative Bareun Party and Roh Hoe-chan of the progressive Justice Party.
President Moon Jae-in. Yonhap
“I believe that we can give citizens hope by communicating often and find parts we can work on together,” Moon said, at the start of the dialogue.
Discussing some key issues, President Moon promised to complete the constitutional revision by June next year. The party leaders welcomed his early mention of the plan, as calls to alter the basic law that was last amended in 1987 increased.
Still, they would have to come to an agreement on the details of the revision.
Revisions Moon envisions include a four-year presidency with the possibility of re-election, while some in the opposition bloc have called for a semi-presidential system.
Moon and the floor leaders also agreed on creating a consultative group that would involve regular meetings among the lawmakers across the aisle.
“The idea was first offered by the president. While it would be chaired by the prime minister, the president said he would also preside once in a while,” Chung in a briefing after the meeting.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party offered broad-minded cooperation to the new administration, but will also make sure that they express opposition when it goes in the wrong direction, he added.
On the issue of national security, Moon promised to share information with the National Assembly. A team of special envoys has been sent to visit allies and neighboring countries including the United States and China. The main opposition has asked to deliver the reports of their foreign meetings upon their arrival.
With the deployment of the US-led missile defense system, THAAD, Moon reiterated that the matter should put to a vote at the National Assembly.
For the Moon administration to proceed with much of their plans, they need to get a majority of votes from the opposition-led parliament.
Currently his ruling Democratic Party controls 120 National Assembly seats, short 30 votes from a majority in the 299-seat unicameral house.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org