South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is on a tour to visit three Southeast Asian countries, made a request against on Tuesday to the National Assembly to deliver a report on personnel hearing on Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk by Friday. Regardless of whether a hearing will be held or not and whether a report will be accepted or not, the president may appoint the nominee from Saturday midnight.
“President Moon asked the National Assembly to send a report by Friday on six nominees subject to personnel hearings, including Cho Kuk and Han Sang-hyuk, nominee for the chairman of the Korea Communications Commission,” said Yoon Do-han, senior secretary to the president for public relations.
President Moon has given four days for the delivery of a personnel hearing report in consideration of the situations that the ruling and opposing parties are finding it difficult to hold hearings due to their differences in opinion, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. However, as the president’ request came in late in the afternoon on Tuesday, only three days are allowed in a practical sense.
President Moon’s deadline is pretty short, given that opposing parties, including the Liberty Korea Party, said the deadline for the submission of a report should be five days later to find and select witnesses with regards to the Justice Minister nominee. According to the Personnel Hearing Act, a written request for the appearance of witnesses must be forwarded by not later than five days before the hearing date. To a question regarding the possibility that a hearing on Cho Kuk can be held by Friday, Yoon said, “It’s not physically impossible,” adding “Cho gave sincere answers at the previously-held meeting and no doubt was left unaddressed.”
“It is beyond deplorable that Cheong Wa Dae is practically pushing forward with the appointment of Cho Kuk,” said the Liberty Korea Party’s Floor Leader Na Kyung-won. “After ridiculing the Korean people and the National Assembly with an unprecedented self-organized hearing in judicial history, how dare to make a brazen request for a personnel hearing report to be submitted in three days,” the Bareunmirae Party’s Floor Leader Oh Shin-hwan also criticized.
The president is scheduled to return to South Korea on Friday afternoon after finishing his Southeast Asia tour.
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