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Moon to deliver speech, urge opposition-led parliament for cooperation

President Moon Jae-in is expected to plead for bipartisan support in his first-ever state of the nation address Monday, asking the opposition-led parliament to lend its assistance to his new government and its reform policies, official sources said.

The president is set to deliver his address at the National Assembly at 2 p.m., according to officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
It will mark the president's first trip to parliament since his inauguration at the National Assembly about a month ago.

President Moon has repeatedly and frequently stressed a need, as well as his aim, to work with the opposition parties, even outlining a wish to share some of his powers under what he calls co-governance arrangement.

He is again expected to urge cooperation with opposition parties.

His latest visit to the National Assembly comes out of necessity, as the opposition has said it will not be cooperative on key issues.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party alone controls 107 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly, while the entire opposition bloc has 173 lawmakers in the 300-seat unicameral parliament.

The opposition bloc includes the Bareun Party, a conservative party that splintered from the main opposition party and thus is seen as closer to the main opposition than to the government or its ruling party.

It also includes the center-left People's Party, a liberal party that controls 40 Assembly seats but is not seen as a sure ally of the ruling Democratic Party, which has 120 seats. The party had once formed an opposition coalition with the LKP and the Bareun Party against some of Moon's picks for new ministers and other top government officials.

Foreign Minister-nominee Kang Kyung-wha still remains a nominee despite her confirmation hearing held last week, as the the opposition bloc, including the People's Party, refused to give their blessings.

New Finance Minister and Vice Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who underwent his own confirmation hearing on the same day as Kang, was appointed late last week.

In addition to his plea for his Cabinet picks, the president was expected to ask for the opposition's support for a government bill for a 11.2-trillion-won ($9.95 billion) extra budget.

Cheong Wa Dae officials have said a large part of the money will be used to create new jobs, a key election pledge of Moon and apparently the foundation of what he called income-led growth.

The president has promised to create 810,000 new jobs in the public sector alone over his five-year term. He seeks to create 1,500 new jobs with the supplementary budget for this year. (Yonhap)

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