South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressively targeted at the Liberty Korea Party on the 39th anniversary of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement, firmly criticizing that the only ones who could view May 18 in a different light are the would-be heirs of dictatorship. Upon arrival, LKP leader Hwang Kyo-ahn was faced with strong opposition from some civic group members who flung water, threw chairs and cursed at him. He left the ceremony without even burning incense. Political tension between the ruling and opposition parties will likely increase further after the issue of fast-track reform bills was brought up.
Given President Moon’s wording of “heirs of dictatorship,” it is interpreted that the president has found it practically impossible to achieve collaborative governance with those who have not decided on sanctions against representatives who frame him as a left-wing dictator and disparage the May 18 democratic movement. In particular it is seen as a message to brining his supporters together and draw the line between conservatives and liberals with next year’s general election coming up.
With this week being a critical time for the normalization of the National Assembly session, experts have observed that political confrontation will last longer due to the consequences regarding the May 18 anniversary ceremony. The Liberty Korea Party stands to refuse to join the normalization of the National Assembly or deliberations of revised supplementary budget plans unless the ruling party apologizes the president’s remarks of “heirs of dictatorship.” LKP floor leader Na Kyung-won resented, saying that the May 18 ceremony was only an incomplete one.
There is an observation that the normalization of the National Assembly will be delayed due to the aftermath of the 5 · 18 ceremony in the wake of the watershed this week. The KCTU has said it will not proceed with normalization of the National Assembly or appraisal of the supplementary budget unless the ruling party apologizes for the statement of the dictator. Na Gyeong-won, the head of the party, said it was a "half-ceremony".
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