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Moon urges opposition to endorse extra budget to create jobs

All News 11:28 July 13, 2017

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in urged the opposition parties to quickly approve the government-proposed bill on an extra budget Thursday, saying the government was running out of time to take meaningful measures to address the record-high youth unemployment rate.

"As a new government elected by the people, the government wishes to work hard to meet the expectations of the people, but it is so frustrating that new (government) organizations and a budget to work with are being blocked," the president said in a weekly meeting with his top aides, according Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

Moon's remarks came amid a continued disruption in the parliamentary session, largely over opposition parties' objections to his nominations of Song Young-moo for the defense minister and Cho Dae-yop for the labor minister.

The president, though he can appoint them Tuesday, agreed to wait a few more days to allow last-minutes efforts by his ruling Democratic Party to reach a possible deal with opposition parties.

Three opposition parties, including the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), boycotted a plenary session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, again preventing votes on the government bill on the 11.2 trillion-won (US$9.83 billion) supplementary budget and a separate bill on the reorganization of the government that seeks to create new government offices, including a trade negotiations office.

"We do not have any more time to waste. It is time for the government, National Assembly, and ruling and opposition parties to extend their hands to the people who are suffering from their lack of jobs," the president said.

Noting the jobless rate of people aged between 15 and 29 years reached an 18-year high for June last month, the president insisted creating jobs is an urgent task that befalls everyone, including opposition parties.

"I again file my request with the National Assembly. I ask you to handle personnel issues and the extra budget separately," Moon said.

The LKP, however, has also expressed its opposition to the extra budget, claiming it may violate the National Finance Act that says an extra budget can be devised only in a case of a national disaster, economic crisis or mass unemployment.

Moon earlier said the high and growing unemployment rate could quickly turn into a crisis if left untouched.


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