Welfare Minister insists on stepping down despite Pres. Park's refusal to accept resignation
President Park has urged her government, Cabinet members and senior secretaries to take full responsibility and have the sense of duty in pushing ahead with state affairs.
Her comments are thought to be aimed at Health and Welfare Minister Chin Young, who once again made it clear that he will not return to work, despite President Park's decision to turn down his resignation last week.
Chin offered to step down on Friday, taking responsibility for not being able to fulfill President Park's key welfare pledge on basic pension.
On Sunday, Chin told reporters that he had opposed and is still against the idea of linking the new basic pension program with the national pension and had expressed his views to the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae a number of times.
Under the new basic pension plan unveiled last week, only the lower 70 percent income bracket of senior citizens aged 65 and above will receive up to 200-thousand won, or about 186 U.S. dollars, falling short of President Park's original pledge to provide the maximum 186 dollars to all Koreans in this age group.
However, even for those in the bottom 70 percent, 10 percent of them will receive as little as 93 dollars, in accordance with how long they have contributed to the NATIONAL pension system.
Chin stressed that his resignation is a matter of conscience as it wouldn't be possible to persuade the public nor the National Assembly as a minister, if he himself doesn't agree with the new plan.
Chin's decision is causing quite a stir as critics say it shows President Park can't control one of her closest aides and struggles to resolve differences on key policies with related ministries.
It could also make the public question the government's pension program altogether,with Chin, who was in charge of drawing up her welfare pledges and other policy goals, has clearly expressed his opposition to the new system.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
Reporter : email@example.com