Last Minute Pain Before Passage of Govt. Restructuring Bills
The biggest bone of contention still has to do with the new science ministry's jurisdiction over broadcast policy.
"Ruling and opposition party lawmakers sitting on the broadcasting and communications committee have different ideas about how much of a say the Korea Communications Commission should have when the science ministry exercises its authority to issue licenses for operators of cable and satellite television."
Lawmakers from the main opposition Democratic United Party say the Korea Communications Commission must give its approval when operators of cable and satellite television apply for a license and its renewal AS WELL AS when trying to make changes to the content of their programs.
But the ruling Saenuri Party says the DUP had already agreed to make the agency's approval necessary only when system operators apply for a license for the very first time and for license renewal.
"Content change cannot be separated from the issue of getting licenses and renewing them. In fact, content changes occur most frequently. But the ruling party is saying this matter cannot be included."
"It's not possible to change the wording of the bill now. People think we reached an agreement after discussing the issues for the last 47 days. Are we supposed to start the discussion all over again?"
Another issue has to do with granting terrestrial TV networks business permits.
The ruling party says the new science ministry should have a final say after the Korea Communications Commission makes a recommendation for a permit.
But the DUP argues the ruling party is trying to transfer jurisdiction over terrestrial networks to the science ministry which was not mentioned in their previous discussions.
If the partisan bickering continues, the passage of President Park's government restructuring bill may not take place on Wednesday, as scheduled.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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