(LEAD) Moon visits parliament for meeting with political party leaders on containing virus
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with meeting; CHANGES headline; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in visited the National Assembly on Friday for a meeting with the heads of South Korea's four major parties aimed at drumming up bipartisan support for his government's desperate fight against the new coronavirus.
It was unprecedented for the president to hold such a group consultation session with the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties at the parliament.
He had all of the five previous meetings at Cheong Wa Dae, usually over a meal. Moon invited them to Cheong Wa Dae on Nov. 10 last year as a gesture of appreciation for their condolence messages over the death of his mother.
Moon met with National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang in advance of roundtable talks with Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party, and Hwang Kyo-ahn, leader of the main opposition United Future Party, as well as Sim Sang-jeung, chief of the Justice Party, and You Sung-yop, who co-heads the Party for People's Livelihoods.
Moon is apparently seeking support for the government's efforts to contain the virus. The president earlier raised the need to create an emergency supplementary budget.
He also hopes that political circles will refrain from wrangling over issues related to the COVID-19 response. Parliamentary elections are slated for April 15, and each party is in the process of picking candidates.
Cheong Wa Dae and the parties are expected to issue a joint statement on the results of the meeting, as well as to hold their own press briefings.
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