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President to hold meeting on reforming powerful organs

Politics 08:29 February 15, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in was set to hold a rare meeting with top officials from the most powerful government agencies Friday to discuss ways to redistribute their power in a way that would help prevent them from abusing it.

The meeting, to be held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, was set to be attended by the head of the state spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, as well as the justice minister, who is in charge of the prosecution and the international affairs minister in charge of the national police agency.

"It means the president will personally take charge of efforts to reform the powerful organizations as there have been concerns that such efforts may be losing momentum as the Moon Jae-in administration enters the second half of its term," a ruling party lawmaker earlier said of the meeting.

Friday's meeting was also set to involve officials from the ruling Democratic Party, including its floor leader Hong Young-pyo.

Readjusting the investigative power between the prosecution and the police is widely expected to be a major topic in the meeting.

Such a move was one of Moon's key election pledges, which is partly aimed at preventing corruption and abuse of power by both the prosecution and police while enhancing the mechanism of checks and balances between them.

In a three-way meeting held Thursday with officials from Cheong Wa Dae and the ruling party, the government agreed to introduce autonomous police systems, first in five major cities and regions this year, and throughout the nation before the end of 2021.

The move is largely aimed at giving more authority to local governments but also is part of the effort to reform the government organs with power, including the police.


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