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Opposition parties submit motion proposing dismissal of defense minister

Politics 16:05 July 15, 2019

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Two opposition parties submitted a motion on Monday that proposed President Moon Jae-in dismiss Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo over the maritime security failure related to the undetected arrival of a North Korean boat.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party made the joint action, claiming that Jeong should be accountable for loopholes in the military's border surveillance capabilities.

Under the Constitution, the National Assembly can propose the dismissal of the prime minister or Cabinet members to the president.

The passage of such a motion requires the approval of more than a majority of sitting lawmakers. But the president can reject it as the proposal is not legally binding.

A wooden boat carrying four North Koreans crossed deep into South Korean waters and reached the shore undetected in June, raising concerns about maritime border security.

Early this month, the government acknowledged a "grave mistake" in securing the sea border and reprimanded top military commanders. But it rejected a suspected cover-up.

A vote on a dismissal-proposing motion must be initiated at least 24 hours after the motion is reported to a parliamentary plenary session and concluded within 72 hours.

The two opposition parties demand the National Assembly hold plenary meetings next Thursday and Friday to vote on the dismissal motion. But the ruling Democratic Party is opposed to the idea, calling for a one-day session.

This photo, taken July 15, 2019, shows Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo entering the headquarters of his ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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