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Park vows to join signature-collecting campaign over bills' delay

All News 11:58 January 18, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye pledged Monday to join an ongoing signature-collecting campaign calling for parliamentary approval for a set of bills meant to revitalize the economy.

Park said she hopes that the National Assembly would heed calls from the public and business organizations and quickly pass the bills.

"I will join a signature-collecting campaign along with people," Park said in a meeting with officials in Pangyo, south of Seoul, where she was receiving a report from the government on how to secure momentum for growth.

The comments are the latest in a series from Park to exert pressure on the parliament to endorse the bills.

Park has made repeated appeals for a parliamentary blessing of the bills, though no major progress has been made amid a political standoff between the rival parties.

Adding to the woes, National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa has rejected the presidential office's request that he invoke his authority to take a set of economic bills to the floor and put them to a vote.

However, there is no sign that rival parties could work out their differences and pass the bills.

The bills are designed to, among other things, reform South Korea's labor markets and to better protect the country from possible terrorist attacks.

"Now, time is running out for us," Park said, noting that it is urgent for the parliament to pass the bills to avert possible economic difficulty.

She also called on the National Assembly to approve an anti-terrorism bill to protect the lives of South Koreans, citing a string of attacks around the world.

The anti-terrorism bill has gained new momentum following the deadly attacks in Paris last year that killed more than 120 people.


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