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Moon appoints new Foreign Minister Kang despite opposition objections

All News 14:31 June 18, 2017

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in appointed his new foreign minister Sunday despite strong objections from opposition parties.

The appointment came after the opposition-led parliament failed to issue a report on the outcome of its confirmation hearing for the new top diplomat, Kang Kyung-wha.

Initially, the parliament had until Wednesday to publish a report on Kang's confirmation hearing held June 7.

Moon gave the parliament an additional period after the initial deadline expired.

The president is required by law to offer a second chance of up to 10 days for the parliament to publish a report on a confirmation hearing.

Moon had offered an additional three days, The second deadline expired Saturday.

The president does not need parliamentary approval to appoint new ministers. However, his appointment of Kang is widely expected to put strains on his already shaky ties with the opposition-led parliament.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party has threatened to boycott the ongoing parliamentary session should the president appoint the new foreign minister without its blessing.

Such a boycott, if it takes place, may effectively prevent appointments of at least 10 minister designates waiting to be reviewed and confirmed by the National Assembly.

It may also cripple government efforts to secure an 11.2 trillion-won (US$10 billion) extra budget that is designed to boost the local economy and also create up to 110,000 new jobs in the public sector.

The main opposition party controls 107 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly. The ruling Democratic Party controls 120 seats, the largest number of seats held by any single party in the unicameral parliament but still far short of a house majority.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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