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National Assembly Speaker talks Korean politics Updated: 2014-08-14 22:04:58 KST

 National Assembly Speaker talks Korean politics

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("The Sewol-ho ferry tragedy delivered a message that there are numerous ethical problems in our society. As Assembly Speaker, I will make all-out-efforts to crackdown on corruption and foster a healthy society.")

Thousands of bills are awaiting for approval at the National Assembly. And people might just think that lawmakers are not doing their jobs. What can be done?

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("The people's trust in the National Assembly is not that high. The U.S. House has a public confidence level of 9%. In Korea, it is 6%. All lawmakers must focus on their basic duties. I plan to keep parliament running the whole year, except for July and August. I want to fix parliamentary sessions by establishing a law. If the law passes, it will go into effect in September.")

Removing lawmakers' special privileges has long been an issue in Korea. But the Assembly Speaker stressed the need for lawmakers to be given certain privileges within the confines of parliament. However, he warned lawmakers against using them for vested interests.

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("Lawmakers receive protection for whatever they say within the National Assembly. This is very important. Lawmakers should not be afraid or become self-conscious towards the authorities like prosecutors or the police, for what they say. Therefore, lawmakers need to be exempt from liability.")

In regards to North Korea, Chung pledged the National Assembly would play a better role in improving relations with Pyongyang.

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("The National Assembly and the government must work hand-in-hand dealing with North Korean matters. We must foster an atmosphere of reconciliation and cooperation as the first steps towards unification.")

As the Assembly Speaker you promised to hold inter-Korean parliamentary talks during your term. Do you think this is realistic?

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("I believe it's possible. Through inter-Korean parliamentary talks we must open an era of dialogue between the two Koreas and I am confident that such a historical moment will happen during my term as Assembly Speaker. President Park Geun-hye also gave her full backing to the idea.")

Thank-you for giving your precious time to hold this one-on-one interview. The Assembly Speaker.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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