중앙데일리

Opposition Parties Attack 'Sunshine'

Nov 03,2001
In an assault on President Kim Dae-jung's sunshine policy, two opposition parties said Friday they will propose revisions to two laws which underpin the engagement policy toward North Korea.

The minor opposition United Liberal Democrats, the ruling Millennium Democratic Party's former coalition partner, has drawn up a revision of the Inter-Korea Exchange and Cooperation Act, which would require that 10 out of 15 members of the committee for inter-Korean cooperation, currently composed entirely of government officials, be filled by each party proportionally according to the number of seats they hold in the Assembly.

The party also drafted an amendment to the Inter-Korea Cooperation Fund Act, which would require the government to obtain National Assembly approval before using the fund. Currently, the minister of unification decides how the fund is used.

The main opposition Grand National Party said it will present the proposed changes to the National Assembly after "making some changes to the language."

"Although inter-Korean cooperation projects cost the government a huge amount of budget," said Kim Hak-won, the ULD floor leader, "the decision-making process lacks transparency." That alleged lack of transparency has been the two opposition parties' major criticism of the President Kim's efforts to thaw relations with the North.

Representative Lee Nak-yon of the ruling party said the revision bills would undermine the flexibility and autonomy of the fund for inter-Korean cooperation, which he said are the keys to its strength.

The proposals should pass easily as the GNP holds 136 Assembly seats and the ULD hold 15, easily exceeding the 137 votes required. If they do, the ruling party said it may ask the president to veto the amendments.



by Lee Sang-il




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