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Moon pledges to revise Constitution

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President Moon Jae-in hosts a meeting with the floor leaders of five parties and presidential officials at Cheong Wa Dae, Friday. From left are senior presidential secretary for political affairs Jun Byung-hun, Roh Hoe-chan of the Justice Party, Kim Dong-cheol of the People’s Party, Woo Won-shik of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Moon, Chung Woo-taik of the Liberty Korea Party, Joo Ho-young of the Bareun Party and presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok. / Korea Times photo by Koh Young-kwan


President offers to form inter-party consultative body

By Yi Whan-woo

President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed his campaign pledge to push for a constitutional revision centered on changing the current five-year, single-term presidency during a meeting with the floor leaders of the five parties at Cheong Wa Dae, Friday.

Moon also offered to form a consultative body among the ruling and opposition parties as well as the government to facilitate dialogue on political, economic and social reform, the presidential office said.

This was Moon’s first meeting as president with the floor leaders of all five parties — Woo Won-shik of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), Chung Woo-taik of the Liberty Korea Party (LKP), Kim Dong-cheol of the People’s Party, Joo Ho-young of the Bareun Party and Roh Hoe-chan of the Justice Party.

Moon has promised to carry out his pledges on revising the Constitution and run a three-way consultation meeting among rival party and government officials regularly.

“The president reaffirmed his will to pursue his pledges made during his campaign for election,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun said.

Regarding the constitutional reform, Moon pushes to complete it by June 2018 when the nation holds local elections.

If fulfilled, the country may have a four-year, two term presidency beginning in 2022.

“The president urged the National Assembly to consider public opinion sufficiently over constitutional reform,” Park said.

Other issues discussed at the meeting also included: the overhaul on the election system; reform of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the prosecution and TV broadcasters, sharing sensitive information on security and foreign affairs with the opposition parties, and the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea.

The NIS, the nation’s spy agency, has been criticized for meddling into political affairs on top of collecting intelligence on North Korea.

The prosecution has been under fire for failing to conduct investigations in a fair and objective manner when involving powerful figures from officialdom and from conglomerates.

“The president was resolute in overhauling the NIS and the prosecution and asked for parliamentary support,” Park said.

Regarding THAAD, Moon will conduct a “prudent approach” based on ongoing visits of presidential envoy Lee Hae-chan to China.

The U.S. defense missile shield is already operational despite Chinese opposition. And Moon has offered to put THAAD deployment to a vote by the National Assembly.

“The president was prudent that the outcome of Lee’s China trip should be considered along with Seoul’s summit with Washington and Beijing in finalizing a decision over THAAD,” the spokesman explained.



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