NATIONAL

Main opposition party rebuffs calls to join govt.-party dialogue body

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 28, 2017 - 13:28
  • Updated : Sept 28, 2017 - 13:28
The main opposition party reiterated Thursday it would not join a proposed policy consultative body among the government and major parties, raising doubts over President Moon Jae-in's sincerity and purposes.

The Liberty Korea Party argued that Moon and the ruling Democratic Party appear poised to use the body as a tool to shift the responsibility for any policy failures to the opposition bloc, or to make other political gains.

The sharp rebuff came a day after Moon and the leaders of the four major parties, except the LKP, held dinner talks and shared the view that the regular dialogue channel should be formed "at an early date."
 
Chung Woo-taik (2nd from R), the floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 28, 2017. (Yonhap)

Moon has repeatedly called for its formation to jointly discuss security and other key state affairs, as part of efforts to forge cooperative politics with opposition parties which together control the legislature. His efforts have borne little fruit in the face of the LKP's strong objections.

"The body would be nothing but an apparatus to shift the blame for the president's policy missteps to the legislature or the opposition parties," Chung Woo-taik, the LKP floor leader, said during a party meeting.

"Any such consultative body should be based on the president's sincerity," he added.

In a telephone interview with Yonhap News Agency, LKP leader Hong Joon-pyo said that the dialogue body would only be a "show" disguised as an effort for cooperative governance.

Hong did not participate in Wednesday's dinner gathering among the president and political leaders, saying he did not want to serve as "background" for what he called a political show.

The relationship between the LKP and the ruling bloc has grown increasingly acrimonious as the latter has been pushing for its drive to "eliminate accumulated ills," which the LKP argues is political retribution against former conservative governments.

During the talks with party leaders, Moon rejected the notion that the drive was a political reprisal, stressing it was a process to remove the "structure of unfairness and undue privileges" embedded in the country's society. (Yonhap)