Korea scrambles to pass nuclear security-related billUpdated: 2014-03-19 06:38:48 (KST)
President Park Geun-hye has urged lawmakers to promptly pass a nuclear security bill ahead of her attendance at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands next week.
The NSS is a biennial gathering of world leaders aimed to prevent nuclear terrorism.
At a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, President Park expressed regret that the National Assembly has failed to approve legislation related to protecting nuclear materials and preventing nuclear disasters in the two years since Seoul hosted the global conference.
In the 2012 Seoul communique, participating nations had agreed to work toward preventing criminals and terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear materials.
"We should be at the forefront of nuclear security, but we can't even keep the promises we have made. We will lose the trust of the international community. This will deal a huge blow to our national interests. I ask the National Assembly to promptly pass the related bill."
Both the ruling and main opposition parties agree that the nuclear security legislation is important, but the bill has been held up in the National Assembly due to political wrangling over other issues of contention.
The ruling Saenuri Party condemned the main opposition Democratic Party for refusing to pass the urgent bill, calling the move political warfare.
It has asked that an extraordinary session of the National Assembly be convened on Thursday, but without the DP's cooperation, the bill is unlikely to pass.
The DP says the Saenuri Party is to blame for the impasse because it has refused to pass bills related to the public's livelihood.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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