DUP calls for PM’s scalp over Japan pact

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DUP calls for PM’s scalp over Japan pact

The main opposition Democratic United Party yesterday submitted a motion to the National Assembly to dismiss Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik over the government’s failed attempt to sign a controversial military pact with Japan last month.

The proposition was tabled by DUP floor leader Park Jie-won in the afternoon after receiving signatures of the party’s 126 lawmakers.

“Under Article 63 of the Constitution, we propose the prime minister to step down,” the DUP said in a statement yesterday. “Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik should be dismissed to take responsibility for passing the Korea-Japan military intelligence-sharing pact as he looked over state affairs when the president was on his overseas trip and presided over the cabinet meeting when the deal was passed.”

The DUP’s proposal comes amid mounting criticism of the botched signing of the General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan last month. The Korean government announced the agreement at the last minute, faced an uproar from the public, and then abruptly postponed the signing with Japan.

“[Prime Minister Kim] ignored the National Assembly and the people by secretly passing the important deal related to national security,” the DUP said.

The proposal, which will be discussed at the regular session this morning, came one day after Lee Hae-chan, head of the DUP, requested the Unified Progressive Party to jointly table the motion. Lee met with Kang Ki-kab, the newly elected UPP leader. The UPP did not submit the proposal jointly with the DUP yesterday but said it supports it.

The DUP also urged the ruling Saenuri Party to agree to the dismissal plan.

Earlier on in the day, Park, the DUP’s floor leader, demanded President Lee Myung-bak issue a public apology for causing such controversy over the military pact.

“The government deceived the people and the National Assembly,” Park said in a parliamentary speech.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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