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Prospects of FM nominee dim further

All News 11:20 June 08, 2017

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- The prospects of President Moon Jae-in's pick for the foreign minister dimmed further Thursday as a minority opposition party decided to oppose the nominee dogged by a range of alleged ethical lapses.

The People's Party said that it would oppose the adoption of a report on the outcome of the hearing for Kang Kyung-wha -- a crucial procedure before the president officially appoints her. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party has already called her unfit.

Kang's appointment does not require parliamentary consent. But opposition parties have cast the confirmation process as a crucial test for cooperation between the government and parliament ahead of other key issues, such as Moon's push for an 11.2 trillion-won (US$9.9) extra budget.

Kang, tapped to become the country's first female top diplomat, has faced a series of allegations, including her daughter's false address registration and belated gift tax payments, and her real estate speculation.

During the hearing Wednesday, she apologized for her daughter's use of a fake address to get assigned to a specific Seoul high school, her alma mater, and the tax issue but repudiated other allegations.

Meanwhile, the People's Party said it would agree to adopt the hearing report on Fair Trade Commission chairman nominee Kim Sang-jo on the condition that a parliamentary panel will file for the state auditor's inspection and prosecutorial probe into an allegation involving his wife.

The People's Party with 40 seats in the 299-member National Assembly is seen as holding a "casting vote" in key legislative decisions. The ruling Democratic Party has only 120 seats and needs the party's cooperation for passing any contested bills.

This photo, taken on June 7, 2017, shows Foreign Minister nominee Kang Kyung-wha speaking during a parliamentary confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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