DP offers Park a tiny compromise

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DP offers Park a tiny compromise

Democratic Party Chairman Kim Han-gill appeared to compromise slightly yesterday in a political statement between the Blue House and the opposition party.

Kim said that he is willing to have the five-way meeting with President Park Geun-hye and other political leaders that Park suggested - but only after he gets his one-on-one meeting with the president first.

“I want to tell President Park that I am willing to participate in a meeting with the president and the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties,” Kim said yesterday.

“If we can reach a conclusion about restoring democracy at the one-on-one talk between the president and the DP chairman as the DP proposed, and then if we can discuss the people’s livelihoods at the multilateral talks as the president proposed, I believe both meetings could be opportunities to serve the people and the country.”

Park had once again proposed five-way meetings on Monday as she sought to break through the political impasse that has paralyzed the National Assembly.

Kim said yesterday that he thinks it is imperative for the opposition party leader and the president to meet head-to-head to end the ongoing deadlock at the legislature, which started over allegations that the National Intelligence Service had interfered in last year’s presidential election.

“While she refused to accept the DP’s proposal to meet to restore democracy and discuss reforming the spy agency, President Park suddenly proposed to have a five-way meeting to discuss the people’s livelihoods,” Kim said. “That move would ignore the core of the problem.”

In Kim’s counterproposal yesterday, he also reiterated that he wants a response from Park before she leaves the country on Sept. 4 to attend the Group of 20 summit in Russia.

The Blue House gave no immediate answer to Kim’s latest proposal.

The largest opposition party is refusing to cooperate in the National Assembly and is holding street protests over the ruling party’s sabotage of a lawmakers’ investigation into allegations that the National Intelligence Service intervened in last year’s presidential election to support Park. They want the spy agency reformed and its chief replaced.

Amid the continuing deadlock, a group of first-term lawmakers from the ruling Saenuri Party yesterday visited the DP’s tent in front of Seoul City Hall, which has served as its headquarters since it began holding street rallies on Aug. 1.

The nine Saenuri lawmakers asked the Democrats to return to the legislature, but the DP lawmakers said the ruling party should persuade the Blue House to accept their demands.

The Saenuri Party also tried to open standing committee meetings yesterday to deliberate on reports of government account settlements, but without the Democrats they were unable to get a quorum.

According to the law governing the National Assembly, lawmakers must approve the settlement of accounts before the legislature opens its ordinary session.

The 100-day legislative session will begin Monday.

BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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