Democratic Party accepts president's offer for 3-way talks
The Democratic Party's decision to accept President Park's proposal for talks was reached during a closed-door meeting of the party leadership Friday morning.
As a result, party leader Kim Han-gil and his ruling party counterpart Hwang Woo-yea will sit down for talks with the president at the National Assembly next Monday.
On Thursday, President Park said she wanted to meet with the leaders of the ruling and the main opposition parties to address any concerns the two parties may have.
She also said she would like to brief the National Assembly Speaker and Vice Speakers as well as the leadership of the rival parties on the success of her recent overseas trips to Russia and Vietnam before meeting separately with the two party leaders alone.
This marks the first time a sitting president has proposed visiting the National Assembly for a meeting with the leaders of the rival parties or for a briefing on a diplomatic tour.
The Democratic Party wants to put the top-and-tail reform of the country's spy agency on top of the agenda for its talks with the president.
The opposition party believes the National Intelligence Service systematically meddled in last year's presidential election, which it says is an outright violation of Korea's Constitution.
Party leader Kim Han-gil says President Park should show a willingness to put an end to the spy agency's interference in political affairs once and for all.
Vast bipartisan differences over the role of the National Intelligence Service have paralyzed parliamentary operations for weeks, putting on the back burner urgent issues like next year's budget and measures aimed at reversing a slowing domestic economy.
"The presidential office has refrained from commenting on the Democratic Party's ideas about the agenda for Monday's talks. The ruling Saenuri Party, meanwhile, says nothing should be left off of the agenda, including the pending livelihood issues as well as the reform of the spy agency.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News."
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