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GNP Floor Leader Proposes Inter-Korean Political Talks

Posted July. 15, 2008 07:52,   


Grand National Party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo officially proposed Monday that the two Koreas hold “inter-Korean political talks” at the National Assembly level to promote South-North reconciliation and cooperation.

Regarding domestic politics, Hong said that he will accept the formation of a round-table council among the government and the ruling and opposition camps, which was proposed by the opposition party, for the nation’s political stability.

“Let the parliamentary leaders of the two Koreas gather in one place and have a heart-to-heart discussion on peace settlement, inter-Korean economic cooperation, food and resources issues and pending humanitarian issues,” Hong said in his speech at the National Assembly earlier that day.

As for the shooting death of a South Korean tourist visiting Mount Geumgang, he said, “The government must mobilize all possible means to thoroughly investigate and unearth the truth. In addition, it has to do its utmost to draw up preventive measures.” “I also urge North Korea to fully cooperate with us on the South’s demands, including a probe into the case.”

Hong also added that the recent shooting of the tourist ironically shows the need for inter-Korean reconciliation. “The two Koreas should engage in a dialogue and take a win-win approach in order to prevent similar tragic accidents from recurring.”

“Following the eras of national foundation, modernization and democratization, we should open the era of an advanced, strong, and affluent country in order to usher in the era of unification.” Hong added that political stability, social stability, economic development and improvement in inter-Korean relations are the four prerequisites for the new eras.

On the round-table council, Hong said, “Let’s hold the council meeting once every month to discuss major state issues.”

With regard to the constitutional amendment, Hong said, “The current constitution revised in 1987 does not reflect the spirit of the 21st century when it comes to power structure, unification, human rights, environment and gender equality.” However, he said that it is premature to start full-scale discussions on the issue.

“The most urgent task is reaching a grand social consensus,” Hong said. He also added that other urgent tasks are forging a grand social compromise through an overhaul of the Tripartite Commission, establishing law and order, and improving the online communication structure.

The floor leader said that the GNP and the government will place top priority on stabilizing consumer prices and the people’s livelihood. Hong also said that he will push for the reform of the public corporations, deregulation and the ratification of the free trade agreement with the United States. “These issues are a matter of survival,” he said.