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Roh, Park Will Meet to Discuss Coalition

Posted September. 02, 2005 07:16,   


President Roh Moo-hyun and Chairwoman Park Geun-hye of the main opposition Grand National Party agreed to hold a one-on-one meeting to discuss main state affairs including the president’s proposal to form a coalition government. The talks are likely to take place early next week before the president leaves the nation for visits to UN headquarters in New York and Central American nations from September 8 to 17.

Amid the intensifying political strain over the coalition government proposal by the president, the meeting is expected to serve as a turning point that will decide the future of political landscape in Korea.

Roh’s new chief of staff, Lee Byeong-wan, who paid a courtesy visit to the opposition leader’s office on Thursday, delivered the overture. He said to Park, “President Roh said he would like to have a candid conversation with you over general state affairs, regardless of format, procedure, and time of the talks.”

In response, Park said, “I see,” and announced at a press briefing, “I assume it is a good idea to share opinions in person.” Park commented about the agenda, “The coalition government will be included,” adding, “Economic issues and other affairs that people are interested in will also be discussed.”

It would be the first time for the president to meet the opposition leader since her inauguration as party leader in March 2004.

Yeon-Wook Jung Yong-Gwan Jung jyw11@donga.com yongari@donga.com