Open the June Assembly

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Open the June Assembly

The National Assembly schedule for June has yet to be fixed. The new floor leaders for the ruling and opposition parties met for the first time yesterday but they could not set a timetable because of the special circumstances following the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun.

The ruling Grand National Party suggested opening the National Assembly on June 8 but the Democratic Party proposed preconditions: the incumbent president’s apology for the late president’s death; the resignation of those accountable for his death, such as the justice minister, the chief prosecutor and the special investigation team; and a parliamentary inquiry.

We have suggested a way to resolve the current situation: The administration must carry out reform but the opposition parties must not use Roh’s death for political purposes.

The investigation into Roh and his family was a legitimate execution of judicial power in the course of the investigation into the Park Yeon-cha scandal. Arguing that part of the investigation was unreasonably harsh is one thing, but questioning the essence of the whole investigation is another.

The incumbent president ordered the funeral service for the late president to be carried out in an honorable way suitable for his position. As the leader of the nation, Lee attended the funeral and expressed his condolences. It’s not sensible for the Democratic Party to ask the incumbent president to deliver an apology if we consider the essence of the case.

So we believe it is wrong for the Democratic Party to stop the National Assembly from opening. If the Assembly abandons its responsibilities, conflict will erupt and the fallout will affect the entire nation.

Hard-line civic and labor organizations are already planning large-scale outdoor rallies on the anniversary of the June 1987 demonstrations and the anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration of South and North Korea.

Coupled with these issues is the fact that North Korea seems to be preparing for another missile launch and beefing up its military capability along its west coast, an act that is raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

And given that we are still in troubled economic waters, the ruling and opposition parties have to keep their eyes on crucial issues affecting the country. They must change a law to resolve the issue of irregular workers, as many of the workers’ employment periods will soon be over. And there are laws related to the media industry pending that the ruling and opposition parties agreed to handle in June.

So, the first task for the political parties and the administration is to open the June National Assembly as soon as possible. There is work to be done and politicizing Roh’s death is not a constructive move forward.
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