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Parliamentary sessions for minister nominees stalled

All News 17:07 June 20, 2017

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's parliament failed Tuesday to convene its committee sessions to arrange confirmation hearings for three minister nominees amid a political standoff over President Moon Jae-in's personnel choices.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and its splinter Bareun Party boycotted the sessions for the second day, causing delays in the confirmation procedures for Moon's picks for the education, defense and unification ministers.

The parties grew more combative after the president pressed ahead with the appointment of Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister Sunday despite their objections over her alleged ethical lapses and unproven expertise.

Ministerial appointments do not require parliamentary consent, but disapproval often imposes a political burden on the government.

The legislature also failed to adopt a report on the outcome of the hearing for Land and Transport Minister-designate Kim Hyun-mee amid criticism of her alleged thesis plagiarism in 2001 and lack of expertise on the ministry affairs.

A parliamentary committee in charge of her hearing decided to hold a session Wednesday to discuss the publication of the report, a crucial procedure before the president formally appoints the designate.

Rival parties tentatively agreed to hold hearings for Defense Minister-nominee Song Young-moo and Unification Minister-nominee Cho Myoung-gyon next Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, while the hearing for Education Minister-nominee Kim Sang-gon is also expected for next week.

But the schedules have yet to be confirmed as the committee sessions to discuss hearing procedures have been stalled amid the political standoff.

This photo, taken on June 19, 2017, shows the main building of the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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