Labor minister nominee quits as parliament deadlock continues

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 13, 2017 - 19:19
  • Updated : Jul 14, 2017 - 09:29
Labor Minister nominee Cho Dae-yop stepped down on Thursday while Song Young-moo has been confirmed as the new minister of defense.
Cho Dae-yop (Yonhap)

“If my appointment is an obstacle in resolving political situations, I will gladly quit as the labor minister nominee. I hope this decision goes toward the success of the Moon Jae-in government,” Cho said in a statement.

Cho’s resignation came amid rumors that President Moon Jae-in might push through with his and Song’s appointments. 

Song Young-moo (Yonhap)

The opposition parties have opposed Cho and Song, and the president that postponed their appointments on Democratic Party of Korea floor leader Rep. Woo Won-shik’s request for “a few more days to negotiate.”

The Liberty Korea Party has threatened that July’s parliamentary session, the normal operation of which is critical to the implementation of Moon’s supplementary budget plans, will be thrown off course if Moon appoints them.

While reports citing unnamed sources claiming that Moon plans to push ahead with the appointments emerged, Woo met with the president on Thursday to discuss related issues.

According to Democratic Party deputy floor leader Rep. Park Hong-geun, Woo requested the president “take minimal measures to normalize the National Assembly,” to which Moon replied that he would consider the matter.

Park declined to elaborate on whether the measures Woo referred to concern the minister nominees, saying the president holds the authority to make appointments and the party had conveyed “the opposition’s views and opinions within the party” to the president.

Earlier in the day, a Cheong Wa Dae official denied rumors the president may drop Cho in return for the opposition’s cooperation on the supplementary budget.

He added that any offer the opposition makes in negotiations with the ruling Democratic Party cannot be accepted if it goes against Cheong Wa Dae’s principles.

In a meeting with senior secretaries, Moon called on the parties not to link his 11.2 trillion won ($9.85 billion) extra budget plan to Cabinet appointments.

“I have been given a mandate, (and) want to go full speed to fulfill that mandate, but I am still without (my own) government and a budget,” the president was quoted as saying. A bill to reorganize the government for the Moon administration is also pending at the parliament.

By Choi He-suk (