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(4th LD) Moon revs up push to get extra budget for job creation

All News 15:51 June 01, 2017

(ATTN: CORRECTS number in lead, typo in para 11)

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Thursday ratcheted up his push to secure a 11 trillion won (US$9.8 billion) extra budget for job creation, saying he would visit parliament to gain its backing at an "appropriate time" if need be.

During a regular meeting with his senior secretaries, Moon also directed the government to accelerate the process of submitting a bill for the supplementary budget to the National Assembly in order to deliver on his key election pledge of creating 810,000 jobs in the public sector.

"If (my visit) is needed to persuade the Assembly, I will visit it and explain (my position) to lawmakers in the form of a parliamentary speech," Moon said.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with his senior secretaries at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on June 1, 2017. (Yonhap)

"I call on you to submit the bill for the budget to create jobs as quickly as possible ... and we have to strive hard to seek parliamentary cooperation," he added.

Moon faces an uphill battle as the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and other opposition parties have opposed the budgetary bill.

The LKP, in particular, said the supplementary budget, if drawn up, must aim to reinvigorate the economy rather than focusing on creating jobs.

During the meeting, Moon also expressed his appreciation to the legislature for its endorsement Wednesday of his pick for prime minister, Lee Nak-yon.

"I think the parliamentary confirmation was completed within the shortest period of time since the parliamentary hearing system was activated, though there was trouble in the process," he said.

"I believe that the legislature made efforts on its part to help (the government) quickly stabilize state affairs," he added.

The president also directed his secretariat to cooperate "as much as it can" to guarantee the prime minister's powers enshrined in the Constitution.

On the campaign trail, Moon vowed to give more responsibilities to the prime minister in running state affairs. Past premiers had played only a limited role with former presidents calling all the shots.

During the meeting with his secretaries, Moon also directed the government to craft a comprehensive plan to manage growing household debt by August.

"I call on you to explain the difficult economic reality to our citizens as it is and report (to me) a mid- and long-term plan to cope with the debt through a separate meeting," he was quoted by his spokesman as saying.

Household debt jumped 11.1 percent on-year to 1,359.7 trillion won at the end of the first quarter, according to the Bank of Korea.

Moon, in addition, directed his policy planning advisory panel to include the issue of research into the history of Korea's ancient Gaya Kingdom (A.D. 42-562) on the list of major tasks for the new government. He cited a lack of research on the kingdom, noting mainstream historians have focused mainly on the country's so-called three-kingdom era (57 B.C.-A.D. 668).


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