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Acting president welcomes proposal to hold meeting with political leaders

All Headlines 09:45 January 06, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday welcomed an opposition leader‘s proposal for talks with ruling and opposition party chiefs to discuss the economic and security challenges facing the country.

Hwang has vowed to enhance cooperation with the National Assembly in normalizing state affairs that have been hamstrung by a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend.

On Thursday, Kim Dong-cheol, the interim leader of the minor opposition People's Party, proposed the talks involving Hwang and the leaders of the four parties that include the ruling Saenuri Party, its splinter group tentatively-named the New Conservative Party for Reform, and the main opposition Democratic Party.

"We wholeheartedly welcome the idea of Acting President Hwang discussing state affairs with the leaders of the four ruling and opposition parties. If the talks are arranged, he will attend it," an aide told Yonhap News Agency over the phone, declining to be named.

"The acting president's stance is that he would humbly accept people's will and communicate and cooperate with the National Assembly," he added.

Regarding the proposal, Saenuri and the Democratic Party remained noncommittal, while the New Conservative Party for Reform responded positively.

The dialogue offer came after Hwang's botched suggestion last month to meet the political leaders one by one, made in response to the opposition parties' demand for a meeting that excludes the ruling party.

Late last month, Hwang met with the People's Party leader, in his first talks with an opposition leader since he took over as the acting president on Dec. 9 after Park was impeached over a string of corruption allegations.

This photo, taken on Jan. 5, 2017, shows Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaking during the New Year's policy briefing on economic affairs at the central government complex in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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