National Assembly Speaker meets with floor leaders of major political parties

The National Assembly Speaker and floor leaders
of South Korea’s four major political parties sat down for talks this morning… in an attempt
to get the deadlocked assembly moving again. For more, we connect to our Kim Min-ji on
the phone. Min-ji, fill us in. The meeting convened this morning… despite
the rival parties having been at loggerheads over the past several days — due to clashes
over President Moon’s ministerial picks,… as well as bickering among the parties themselves. And so, the three opposition parties have
been refusing to take part in National Assembly sessions. Now, this comes just prior to a meeting of
the National Assembly’s budget committee — where committee members are expected to table the
government’s multi-billion dollar extra budget bill for review. The floor leader of the ruling Democratic
Party of Korea said the extra budget should be dealt with separately to other parliamentary
affairs, such as confirmation hearings,… saying that it’s for the people. However, the opposition says the Cabinet issues
and the bickering among the parties need to be solved first, while President Moon also
needs to show a willingness to cooperate. So, despite the morning gathering,… it’s
unlikely the evaluation will take place,… with the opposition parties likely to boycott. So, rival lawmakers have been butting heads
several times with the Cabinet issues. What’s the latest on that front? A parliament committee this morning adopted
a hearing report for You Young-min,… tapped to head the science, ICT and future planning
ministry. He had his confirmation hearing last week,…
and his endorsement was widely expected,… given his background and expertise. Now, the deadline for adoption of hearing
reports for two ministerial nominees — defense and labor — is today. The opposition has called for the two candidates
to withdraw their nominations, or the president take them back himself. The president has already reset the deadlines,…
so should he go ahead and sign off their appointments,… it’s expected to further deepen the divide
in the assembly. Back to you, Mark.

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