President Park meets rival parties' floor leadership; parties agree to pass ferry disaster bill next weekUpdated: 2014-07-11 06:43:26 (KST)
It was the first time President Park had invited the floor leadership from both the ruling and opposition parties to the presidential office.
The president, who has been criticized for a lack of dialogue and cooperation with the opposition side, positively assessed the weekly meeting between the rival parties' floor leadership.
"I believe the people will praise your joint efforts towards a people-oriented, cooperative National Assembly."
A major development from Thursday's talks was an agreement to pass a bill designed to prevent a repeat of a tragedy like April's deadly ferry accident.
"With an aim to pass the special legislation on the Sewol-ho ferry at the July 16th plenary session, the policy chiefs of the two parties will start negotiating the bill within standing committees."
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The rival parties need to narrow differences over the Sewol-ho ferry investigative committee's authority and ways to compensate the victims and their families.
President Park asked for bipartisan support behind her government and public sector reform-related bills put forth in the aftermath of the ferry disaster, and a series of bills aimed at revitalizing the economy.
A key part of the president's government restructuring plan involves setting up a safety ministry to oversee the management of all forms of natural and man-made disasters.
The two parties, in response, said they'll seek to pass the bills next month.
To the opposition's request that the president reconsider two controversial Cabinet nominations, President Park said she would take it into consideration.
The president asked the opposition to participate in her envisioned inter-Korean unification preparatory committee, and said she hoped to meet both parties' floor leadership on a regular basis.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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