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Moon to address parliament's opening ceremony Thursday

All News 15:16 July 15, 2020

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of South Korea's 21st National Assembly this week, in which he plans to request lawmakers' support for the Korean-version New Deal project, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

The event is scheduled to be held at the National Assembly building in western Seoul at 2 p.m. on Thursday, three months after 300 lawmakers were elected in the general elections for a four-year term.

Moon has rescheduled an on-site activity related to the New Deal initiative, slated for the day, to attend the ceremony, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok. He did not provide details of the planned schedule including the venue.

The president stated Wednesday that the government will invest 160 trillion won (US$133 billion) by 2025 to create 1.9 million jobs under the Korean version of the New Deal, which he described as a campaign for the "grand transformation" of the nation in preparation for the post-coronavirus era.

Hours after Moon's announcement, the ruling and opposition parties reached an agreement to formally open the parliament following protracted wrangling over the selection of chiefs of standing committees.

Moon made the decision to change his schedule as he thinks it's "more important than any other thing" to draw the parliament's cooperation for the success of the New Deal project, Kang told reporters.

This file photo, dated Oct. 22, 2019, shows President Moon Jae-in delivering a budget speech at the National Assembly. (Yonhap)

This file photo, dated Oct. 22, 2019, shows President Moon Jae-in delivering a budget speech at the National Assembly. (Yonhap)

Kang, however, said the president's "footstep" toward the parliament for the address "can't be light," given that the ceremony is taking place 48 days after the lawmakers began their tenure.

He also pointed out that it marks the most belated opening of the National Assembly session since the nation's current democratic constitution was established in 1987.

Moon initially prepared to speak at the parliament in late June, and he has since made changes to the text of his speech nine times, Kang said.

The president is also expected to appeal to lawmakers for cooperation on launching a special agency tasked with investigating corruption among senior public servants.

The ruling Democratic Party says the creation of the independent body, provisionally named the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO), is crucial in reforming the powerful state prosecution service.

The conservative main opposition United Future Party remains opposed to it, saying the envisioned unit could be exploited as an organ to help cover potential wrongdoings by Moon and his aides.

The law on establishing the CIO took effect earlier Wednesday.


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