The Korea Herald


Assembly speaker vows to prioritize legislative support for COVID-19 losses

Park Byeong-seug hopes for constitutional amendment, supports end-of-war declaration

By Ko Jun-tae

Published : Jan. 6, 2022 - 16:22

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National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug speaks during a press conference held Thursday. (Joint Press Corps) National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug speaks during a press conference held Thursday. (Joint Press Corps)
The National Assembly will prioritize tackling problems stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 by passing bills aimed at stimulating the economy and strengthening the social safety net, Speaker Park Byeong-seug said Thursday.

Park said in an online meeting with reporters that the National Assembly will focus on addressing bills drafted in concern of people suffering from the COVID-19 fallout, adding that he will lead the legislative branch to effectively serve as the representative agency of the people.

"The National Assembly will foremost take care of COVID-19-related bills on addressing problems of the people," Park said in an opening address. 

"We will concentrate our efforts to prepare bills that can add fuel to stimulating the economy and (strengthening) the social safety net."

The 21st National Assembly has processed more than 4,000 bills since starting in May 2020, already up 48 percent from the record of 3,195 bills processed by the 20th National Assembly. Park vowed to continue with its image of the “working parliament” by driving compromises and talks between rival parties.

The speaker also said during the meeting that constitutional amendments should be seriously discussed after the presidential election in March, urging presidential candidates to express their views on whether they want to pursue constitutional amendments on key issues.

If all proceeds smoothly, Park said the national vote required for a constitutional amendment could be run on the sidelines of regional elections slated for March. He added that promoting unity among the people is needed now more than ever as the divide is apparent ahead of the important elections.

The speaker also expressed a commitment to continue working toward holding an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting while backing President Moon Jae-in’s push to officially announce a declaration to end the Korean War through a peace accord.

Park vowed the same in December during the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum hosted by South Korea, where parliamentary representatives from 22 of the 28 member countries adopted 13 new resolutions. One of the resolutions was made in regard to building peace on the Korean Peninsula.