Assembly to normalize, pass budget bill next week

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Assembly to normalize, pass budget bill next week

One day after the news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the Grand National Party and Democratic Unity Party (DUP) have agreed to resume their budget review for next year, effectively normalizing affairs at the National Assembly for the first time in almost a month.

Leaders of both parties agreed yesterday that the Special Committee on Budget and Accounts will resume its activities with the aim of passing next year’s draft budget bill in the final few days of the year. “With the death of Kim Jong-il, the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula has been placed in a critical situation, making it difficult to push back the National Assembly agenda,” said Kim Jin-pyo, floor leader of the DUP, the new main opposition party.

The opposition camp came to an abrupt reconciliation on Monday, when it decided to hold emergency meetings to show a united front in response to the shocking news from across the border. And yesterday, the newly merged DUP formally ended its legislative boycott that began in protest against the ruling GNP’s railroading of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement back in November. Assembly members also decided to hold a special hearing on the case of the distributed denial-of-service attacks that paralyzed the National Election Commission’s Web site during the Oct. 26 Seoul mayoral by-election.

By Jung Hyo-sik []
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