Rival parties take opposing positions on authorities' use of force in union raidUpdated: 2013-12-23 PM 10:43:20 (KST)
Speaking at a meeting with her top secretaries on Monday President Park Geun-hye stressed that the government should stick to its principles in dealing with the railway strike.
"If the government were to abandon its principles and compromise just to end the strike, especially when difficulties arise, there would be no future for the country, either economically or socially."
Pundits say her comments reflect the Park administration's determination to stick to its principles and remain firm in dealing with the railway protest.
Korea's rival political parties had mixed reactions to a police raid that played out over a tense 12-hour period on Sunday as the rail strike rolled into its fifteenth day on Monday.
Civic groups have since issued a series of statements denouncing the government's use of force in the raid on the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, an umbrella labor group.
The ruling Saenuri Party defended the police action, saying it was justified because union leaders had defied their arrest warrants.
"Using the police against an illegal strike is what the government ought to do to protect the rights of its citizens."
The main opposition Democratic Party moved quickly to protest the raid, demanding that three related parliamentary committees open sessions on Monday to find a peaceful settlement to the dispute.
DP Chairman Kim Han-gil criticized the government’s handling of the matter, saying the raid highlighted the Park administration’s unilateral and dogmatic method of governance.
"The government's use of force is not legitimate when discussions can be held "
The DP has advocated for new legislation specifically designed to ban the privatization of the bullet train service.
The Saenuri Party rejected that, but proposed the two parties sign a joint resolution stating that both parties are against the privatization of KORAIL.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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