The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae was set to ask the National Assembly to once again try and approve the president's pick for new foreign minister, officials said Thursday, in what will likely be the last step before appointing the nominee.
The move comes as the opposition-led parliament failed to issue a report on the outcome of a confirmation hearing for Foreign Minister-nominee Kang Kyung-wha, held last Wednesday.
The parliamentary hearing committee had until this Wednesday to issue a report, stating whether it sees the nominee fit for the job or not.
A minister does not require parliamentary approval for his or her appointment. However, appointment without parliamentary approval often casts a political burden on the government or the president.
When the parliament fails to issue a report on a confirmation hearing over an initial period of up to 20 days, the president may ask the National Assembly to again try and do so over an additional period of up to 10 days.
When the parliament missed its initial period for Kim Sang-jo, then nominee for the chief of the Fair Trade Commission, President Moon Jae-in asked the parliament to issue a report over an additional five-day period.
The president appointed Kim without a parliamentary report on Wednesday after the parliament missed its second deadline.
The initial deadline for Kang's report expired Wednesday.
Cheong Wa Dae officials said the president will likely ask the parliament to give it a second try, as required by law.
However, Moon is expected to ask it to do so in just two or three days, they noted.
In its earlier appeal to the National Assembly hearing committee, the presidential office had noted a need to have the country's top diplomat named as early as possible, citing the president's upcoming summit with his US counterpart Donald Trump and other major international events, including the Group of 20 summit to be held in Germany on July 7-8.
Despite its request for a second try, appointing Kang without parliamentary approval may still further deteriorate Cheong Wa Dae's relations with the parliament, especially the opposition parties.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party has said it may boycott the ongoing parliamentary session altogether, which could effectively prevent the government's move to create an 11.2 trillion-won ($10 billion) supplementary budget.
The main opposition party controls 107 seats, while the ruling Democratic Party has 120 seats, both short of a majority in the 300-seat parliament. (Yonhap)