The floor leaders of ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party once again failed to find common ground regarding the government reorganization plans on Sunday.
As the three-way meeting between the parties’ leaders and President Park Geun-hye also failed to occur, the president will address the nation on Monday, Cheong Wa Dae said.
“The president will make a public address tomorrow at 10 a.m., apologize for the glitches and reveal details of state affairs,” said Lee Nam-ki, senior presidential secretary for public affairs. He added that the duty of a National Assembly member is to represent the public and that state affairs should be approached through communication and negotiation.
|Saenuri Party floor leader Lee Han-koo (left) and deputy floor leader Kim Gi-hyeon confer before the meeting with Democratic United Party leaders at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap News)|
As for Sunday’s inter-party meeting, DUP floor leader Park Ki-choon said that only minor issues were resolved and that the two sides will continue negotiations through the deputy floor leaders.
The DUP floor leader also revealed that he suggested handling the issue of establishing the Ministry of Future Planning and Science separately from the rest of the government reorganization plans.
“We call on (the Saenuri Party and the government) to accept the opposition’s suggestion, rather than being tied up about creative economy that exists in the notebook,” Rep. Park said referring to the president’s notebook, in which she is said to keep her ideas.
The Saenuri Party, however, quickly refused the suggestion, saying that it was not the first time such plans were put forward by the DUP.
The two mainstream parties have been wrangling over which government body will be put in charge of matters regarding IPTV, cable system operators and program providers.
Under the government reorganization planned by the Park Geun-hye administration, the Ministry of Future Planning and Science will oversee all related policies and regulations.
The DUP has argued that the Korea Communications Commission should retain authority over such matters, as putting them under the control of a ministry, which is headed by a single individual, could damage the integrity of broadcast media. In contrast to ministries, the KCC’s leadership consists of a chairman, vice chair and three standing commissioners.
Following several rounds of talks, during which a number of compromise plans were put forward by both sides, the DUP has suggested giving the KCC authority to issue licenses and to draw up acts and revisions, while giving the Science Ministry authority over IPTV-related issues.
The presidential office and the ruling party, however, have rejected the idea, saying that the DUP’s plan would “remove the reason for the Ministry of Future Planning and Science to exist.”
“It is unclear when the government can be properly launched if the extraordinary session of the National Assembly is over. It is a grave and dangerous situation,” said the senior presidential secretary for public affairs, following the Saenuri-DUP floor leaders’ meeting. He added that by refusing to meet with the president, the opposition party is disregarding the purpose for which the parliament and the government exist.
“The government and the president will try to resolve the issue quickly by communicating continuously. We ask the DUP to help get the issue resolved.”
Lee’s announcement echoed that of presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing earlier in the day when she called for the revised Government Organization Act to be processed before the parliamentary session ends on Tuesday.
In the briefing, Kim stressed the need for the Science Ministry to be put in change of broadcasting-related issues, saying that separating telecommunications and broadcasting was pointless.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com