NATIONAL

Blue House, parties agree to seek closer cooperation

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Aug 16, 2018 - 17:25
  • Updated : Aug 16, 2018 - 17:25
The major political parties and the presidential office agreed to cooperate in policy negotiations, and to work together to hold a successful inter-Korean summit, the parties announced Thursday.

The agreement came after a meeting among President Moon Jae-in and the floor leaders of the five major political parties at Cheong Wa Dae. 

President Moon Jae-in and floor leaders discuss issues at the presidential office on Thursday. From left: Party for Democracy and Peace`s Chang Byoung-wan, Bareunmirae Party`s Kim Kwan-young, Liberty Korea Party Kim Sung-tae, President Moon Jae-in, Democratic Party of Korea`s Hong Young-pyo, and Justice Party acting floor leader and Yun So-ha. Yonhap

Under the agreement, the parties and presidential office agreed to launch a negotiation group involving government and ruling and opposition parties. The negotiation group will meet once every quarter, with the first meeting to be held in November, after the government addresses the National Assembly on next year’s budget.

The parties and presidential office also agreed to cooperate in processing bills concerning people’s livelihoods within the August parliamentary session.

The bills include those concerning regulatory reform, supporting small merchants in matters linked to minimum wage hike and reduction in working hours.

On the issue of regulatory reform bills, the minor left-wing opposition Justice Party is not in agreement, the parties said.

The final clause in the agreement concerns the inter-Korean summit scheduled to be held in Pyongyang next month. Regarding the matter, the parties said that they agreed to support the government’s efforts to bring about denuclearization and to establish lasting peace on the peninsula.

In the meeting that lasted over two hours, the president and floor leaders discussed a range of political issues, Cheong Wa Dae said.

The meeting was attended by Reps. Hong Young-pyo, Kim Sung-tae, Kim Kwan-young, Chang Byoung-wan, and Yun So-ha, respectively the floor leaders of the Democratic Party of Korea, Liberty Korea Party, Bareunmirae Party, Party for Democracy and Peace and Justice Party.

In the meeting, Moon urged the parties to quickly move livelihood-related bills, and those concerning regulatory reform, praising them for having reached an agreement on related issues.

Saying the public “yearns for cooperation between the ruling and opposition blocs,” Moon emphasized the need for a body for facilitating government-parliament negotiations.

Moon also called on the floor leaders of the parties to process matters concerning the Panmunjom Declaration.

“There have been talks on how the declaration needs parliamentary ratification, but (the negotiations) have been stalling,” Moon said.

“If the National Assembly ratifies the Panmunjom Declaration, it will be a great support in the summit talks in Pyongyang.”

The Panmunjom Declaration, announced after Moon’s first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27, outlines a number of measures for improving cross-border ties, including ending military hostilities, and seeking to declare the end of the Korean War.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)