Park to officially name ministers including defense
Published : 2013-03-10 21:10
Updated : 2013-03-10 21:10
President Park Geun-hye is set to finalize the appointments of 12 ministers Monday including those that will head ministries that are yet to be formally established due to the protracted government reorganization bill negotiation.
They include the ministers for foreign affairs, education, public safety and administration, and industry and commerce.
Reports said Park is also expected to confirm on Tuesday the appointment of defense minister-designate Kim Byung-kwan, who is at the center of opposition attacks over his alleged ethical misdeeds in the past, such as alleged lobbying activities.
The National Assembly’s Defense Committee plans to discuss whether to endorse Kim’s appointment or not after having conducted the confirmation hearing on him late into Friday night.
Some observers suggested Park is likely to go ahead and name Kim to the post considering the security crisis situation spurred by North Korea’s repeated threats of provocation upon U.N. Security Council sanctions against its Feb. 12 nuclear test.
According to the relevant laws, the president can finalize an appointment of a Cabinet member if the 20-day period is passed after the nomination bill is sent to the Assembly regardless of the parliamentary decision.
The rival parties, meanwhile, are set to pick up their negotiations over the government reorganization plan Monday with prospects that a compromise will come this week.
The floor leaderships of the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party will meet Monday after a weekend hiatus and discuss the last-remaining sticking point of how to maintain broadcasting stations’ neutrality, parties said.
Public outcry has been surging over the delayed government formation and consequent void in state affairs at the time of a security crisis with repeated threats by North Korea, further pressuring the political parties to find a middle ground fast.
The two parties reportedly reached a consensus that additional measures will be prepared to secure broadcasting companies’ neutrality.
The two had been stuck in a gridlock over the plan to transfer affairs related to non-news media, such as cable network system operators, to the newly forming Ministry of Future Planning and Science.
The Saenuri Party is reportedly proposing transferring the affairs related to these system operators to the science ministry as originally planned, and instead preparing separate measures to curb concerns over the government seizing control of the broadcasters.
The DUP, on the other hand, is reportedly pushing for a way to keep the issues related to system operators with the Korea Communications Commission, but separately enacting a special law to promote information and communications technology.
Park had designed the new science ministry to take over most policies related to communications and broadcasting as part of the initiative to converge the technologies for new growth engines.
“For the sake of ICT development, it is correct to have the SO-related affairs transferred to the science ministry. We will be persuading the DUP that there is no intention to control the broadcasting media,” said Saenuri Party senior vice floor leader Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon.
Kim’s counterpart Rep. Woo Won-shik of the DUP said, “As we said we will prepare an idea for the ICT special promotion act, and the Saenuri Party the measures to guarantee broadcasters’ objectivity, we will be meeting up with each of our plans and discuss them.”
Prospects for a breakthrough were heightened upon reports that Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo-yea and DUP interim leader Moon Hee-sang may arrange a meeting early this week.