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Ruling party proposes new security council against NK threats

Voters believe ruling party leader is better at managing than main opposition chief

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Feb. 21, 2024 - 15:04

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People Power Party Floor Leader Yun Jae-ok makes a keynote speech at at a meeting of the National Assembly’s floor negotiation teams held at the Assembly in western Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap) People Power Party Floor Leader Yun Jae-ok makes a keynote speech at at a meeting of the National Assembly’s floor negotiation teams held at the Assembly in western Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The ruling party's floor leader on Wednesday called for the establishment of a trilateral security council formed of members of the Cabinet and the two major parties to counter threats from North Korea.

“North Korea is projected to step up its provocations ahead of our general election (scheduled for April 10) and the US presidential election (in November),” People Power Party Floor Leader Yun Jae-ok said in a keynote speech at a meeting of the National Assembly’s floor negotiation teams.

“Which is why I propose to form a trilateral security council of the Cabinet and the ruling and the main opposition parties to jointly counter major military threats,” he added.

Yun stressed that the parties must align their stance on the national security matter and called for the main opposition to halt any attempts to produce “conspiracy theories” against the government ahead of the election.

“The rival parties must no longer lock horns over national security. Producing conspiracy theories that the government is deliberately provoking (North Korea) for political gain inflicts serious damage to our security,” he explained.

Last month, main opposition Democratic Party of Korea Chair Lee Jae-myung accused the Yoon Suk Yeol administration of deliberately provoking the North to invoke fear among the voters to gain an upper hand in the upcoming election.

“I must express concerns over the possibility that (the Yoon administration) is deliberately provoking (the North) to increase tension on the Korean peninsula and use the issue as (a political weapon) while overlooking the lives and safety of the people,” Lee said during an intra-party meeting.

Yun pleaded with voters to help change the current opposition-led Assembly to help the current administration smoothly carry out its policies.

“Please help change the National Assembly and help the government do its job. We vow to change the Assembly into a more competent and ethical organization,” he said.

The Democratic Party lambasted the floor leader’s remarks as an effort to conceal the mistakes made by the Yoon administration and the ruling party.

“The speech was an attempt to hide and cover up the government and the ruling party’s mistakes,” Democratic Party spokesperson Choi Hye-young said in a statement.

“It managed to make the president’s repeated diplomatic failures look like accomplishments, while failing to apologize for (the administration’s) mistakes, incompetence and irresponsibility.”

Meanwhile, Korean voters believe that People Power Party Interim Chair Han Dong-hoon is better at managing his party than Lee Jae-myung, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll conducted by local research group Embrain Public on Feb. 18-19 showed that 40 percent of 1,001 voters aged 18 or older across Korea picked Han in a question that asked which political party leader was best at his or her job. Some 30 percent chose Lee, while 6 percent picked the former New Reform Party co-chair Lee Nak-yon and current New Reform Party Chair Lee Jun-seok. The survey was conducted before Lee Nak-yon announced his departure from the New Reform Party on Tuesday.