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(LEAD) Rival parties reach a deal to open full parliamentary session this week

Politics 19:05 July 29, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS details in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties agreed Monday to hold a plenary parliamentary session this week to vote on an extra budget bill and parliamentary resolutions condemning Japan's export curbs and an air intrusion by China and Russia.

The plenary meeting will be held on Thursday under the deal reached by the floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and two major opposition parties. It would be the first full floor session since early April.

A monthlong extraordinary session for June was held following monthslong partisan tensions, but it ended on July 19 without passing any bills, including a 6.7 trillion-won (US$5.7 billion) extra budget bill.

An extra July session was opened Monday after the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) jointly submitted a request for the opening on Friday.

The parties demanded an extra session to focus on the grave security situation caused by North Korea's latest missile test and an intrusion by Chinese and Russian military jets into South Korea's air defense identification zone (KADIZ) without prior notice.

The two parties backed down on their preconditions to put the National Assembly back on track.

Previously, they demanded a parliamentary probe into the undetected arrival of a North Korean boat in South Korea in June and a vote on a motion proposing President Moon Jae-in dismiss the defense minister over the maritime security failure.

The governing DP had rejected the two parties' demands, but it said Friday it may consider their new proposal positively if they agree to review the passage of the supplementary budget bill.

The extra budget bill, which has been pending since April, centers on fiscal spending to boost the slowing economy and cope with fine dust air pollution.

The government is hoping the extra budget could be increased by more than 120 billion won to help local firms tackle Japan's export restrictions.

Japan's export curbs prompted rival parties to display rare bipartisan cooperation.

Last week, the parliamentary foreign affairs committee adopted a resolution calling on Japan to immediately withdraw its curbs on exports to South Korea of key high-tech materials.

On Monday, the parties agreed to hold an extra session starting Tuesday to discuss pending foreign affairs and security issues amid a series of recent incidents that have heightened tensions around the country.

Last week, Chinese and Russian aircraft violated South Korea's KADIZ, with one Russia military plane infringing upon the country's airspace near its easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.

Japan, which lays claim to the islets, also dispatched a warplane and protested what it said was a violation of Japanese airspace, which drew strong condemnation and aggravated anti-Japanese sentiment following the imposition export curbs.

The parties agreed to adopt resolutions condemning Russia's airspace incursion and Japan's territorial claim over Dokdo, while also demanding Tokyo withdraw its export curbs and expressing regrets over China's KADIZ violation.


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