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Park's chief political advisor vows to enhance communication with political circles

All News 12:05 June 09, 2016

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's new chief secretary for political affairs on Thursday vowed to "spare no efforts" to enhance communication with the ruling and opposition parties in order to step up Park's efforts to forge more cooperative ties with the opposition-led National Assembly.

"I, as the senior presidential secretary for political affairs, will leave my mind wide open and will spare no efforts to frequently meet with and listen to ruling and opposition parties," Kim Jae-won told reporters at Chunchugwan, the press center of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"In sync with the president's state management principles, I will do my utmost to serve the people and the nation," he added.

Kim, a former two-term lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, was appointed as Park's top political advisor on Wednesday in a reshuffle of her senior secretaries and vice-ministerial officials. The shakeup came amid lingering calls for a personnel change in the wake of the ruling party's defeat in the April 13 parliamentary polls.

Kim is at the core of the Saenuri members loyal to Park, called the "pro-Park" faction. Since Park's presidential primary race in 2007, Kim has served as her campaign chief, spokesman and key political aide.

The presidential office is pinning hopes on Kim's ample experience in negotiating with the opposition camp to push for a set of the government's reform initiatives aimed at creating jobs and reinvigorating the economy.

In the new 300-seat Assembly, the ruling party no longer maintains a majority. It holds 122 seats while the largest opposition Minjoo Party of Korea and minority People's Party have 123 seats and 38 seats, respectively.

Meanwhile, Park is expected to deliver what will be her fifth speech as president at the Assembly to mark the launch of the new parliament on Monday.

Her schedule for the speech has yet to be finalized, but a Cheong Wa Dae official told Yonhap News Agency that it is "customary" for the president to deliver a speech to celebrate the opening of a new legislature.

"Chances are high that she will make a speech at the Assembly given that it has been customary (to do so)," the official said, declining to be named.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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