First parliamentary audit of Park Geun-hye administration begins
The National Assembly launched a 20-day long parliamentary audit on 6-hundred-28 ministries and other government offices on Monday.
On day one, 12 agencies were under fierce scrutiny over issues such as national diplomacy and security.
On matters regarding foreign affairs and unification, ruling and opposition lawmakers grilled Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se about how Korea plans to deal with Japan's territorial claims and its renewed push to beef up its defense capabilities.
"The foreign ministry is doing all it can strategically to deal with Japan beefing up its military strengths and raising its territorial disputes. We are working towards getting support from the international community."
In the audit into the defense ministry, lawmakers touched upon the timing of OPCON tranfer from Washington to Seoul initially slated for 2015.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin assured lawmakers that Seoul and Washington have agreed to review the possible delay of transfer next year after reviewing North Korean threats and Seoul's capabilities to deal with them.
Politically sensitive issues such as President Park Geun-hye's recent proposal to scale back the national pension program as well as major projects under former President Lee Myung-bak such as the four major river restoration project and the development of resources overseas were also put under the spotlight.
Meanwhile, prior to the audit the ruling Saenuri Party took a step toward ending the political deadlock that has plagued the Assembly for months by asking the main opposition Democratic Party to sign a joint declaration that says they'd put arguments aside and focus on improving the livelihoods of the people.
The DP declined the proposal.
"Over the next 20 days, political analysts expect that the ruling and opposition parties will butt heads over differences in the government inspections. By the time the audit ends on November 2nd, it will have been the largest parliamentary audit in the nation's history.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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