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Party Heads Discuss Ways to Heal Limping National Assembly

Aug 01,2000
Grand National Party (GNP) president Lee Hoi-chang and honorary president of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) Kim Jong-pil reportedly spoke by phone to settle rumors that a clandestine promise was made between the two. They also exchanged ideas on how to normalize the presently crippled operations of the National Assembly.

The rumor making the rounds in the National Assembly is that Lee promised Kim help in passing the amendment to congressional law that will lower the minimum seats necessary for securing a negotiating bloc. Such a status also grants the party 'recognition;' i.e. the recognized party is granted financial support from congressional coffers. The rumor has run rampant during the recently tottering operations of the National Assembly.

Kim Jong-pil returned to Seoul from Japan only briefly to deal with the amendment of the pharmaceutical law. During his Seoul sojourn he is reported to have phoned GNP president Lee.

ULD head Kim, according to a political pundit, apologized to the GNP's Lee, saying he felt sorry for having caused Lee trouble as a result of the rumor. Kim reportedly offered to meet with Lee after he returns to Korea August 9.

Kim reportedly expressed his wish for the GNP's cooperation in paving the way for the ULD to be restored to its negotiating bloc status.

Officials from both camps were skeptical, however. "The secretariat of JP did try to contact President Lee by phone, but we don't know if they spoke person-to-person."

by Chun Young-gi




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