Ruling Democratic Party of Korea Floor Leader Kim Tae-nyeon on Monday proposed relocating the National Assembly and the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, from Seoul to the administrative city of Sejong to curb housing prices.
“Through active discussions, the National Assembly, Cheong Wa Dae and central government ministries should move to Sejong in order to alleviate overcrowding and real estate problems in the Greater Seoul area,” Kim said during a floor negotiation speech at the National Assembly.
The completion of the administrative city is a core strategy for the balanced development of the country’s regions, he said.
Of 16 central government ministries, 12 have moved to Government Complex Sejong since 2012 as part of the country’s decentralization efforts. The complex is about 130 kilometers south of Seoul.
Kim vowed to strengthen regulations facing owners of multiple homes and to claw back excess earnings from real estate speculation by pushing for the passage of housing market bills during plenary sessions from July 30 to Aug. 4.
“We should not close our eyes on the unearned income that comes from houses being held like hostages,” he said.
His proposal came as the government plans to roll out measures to supply more homes in Seoul and neighboring areas after drawing criticism for an array of housing policies that fell short of expectations to bring soaring prices under control.
Expressing confidence in the South Korean version of the New Deal, a 160 trillion won ($133 billion) plan initiated by President Moon Jae-in, Kim said the plan will help the country weather challenges posed by climate change and the sluggish job market.
“The gist of the Green New Deal is the energy transition. Energy-fostering industries of future cars, smart architecture and industrial complexes, and green energy can drive innovation,” he said.
He urged opposition parties to engage in bipartisan cooperation to kick-start inter-Korean economic projects and reboot the stalled peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
To step up parliamentary diplomacy, a delegation comprising ruling and opposition party lawmakers will visit Washington and Beijing before the 2020 US presidential election, scheduled for Nov. 3.
“We need aggressive diplomacy driven by lawmakers for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula even if we are under self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He also said South Korea could resume tourism to North Korea’s Kumgangsan and should recognize the Kaesong industrial park as an exception to the list of sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
Furthermore, he called on the North to refrain from using “rough language and reckless provocation aimed at attracting international attention,” warning that provocative action would not be tolerated by the South.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org