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Yoon expected to announce the directions for government reform

Yoon expected to announce the directions for government reform

Posted April. 13, 2024 07:42,   

Updated April. 13, 2024 07:42


As South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed strong determination for government reform after the ruling party’s crushing defeats in the April 10 general elections and the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, Lee Jae-myung, revealed a positive stance toward a meeting with the president, the biggest talking point in the South Korean politics at the moment is whether a summit between the president and the opposition party leader will take place for the first time since the current administration was launched. As some of the ruling party members are arguing that the president should accept a meeting with Lee and the understanding of the major opposition party will be necessary to take care of various issues, such as the approval of the next prime minister, the successful accomplishment of the summit will serve as a test for change in the state of the nation.

“Of course, I will meet him, and of course, I will talk to him,” Lee told reporters about the possibility of meeting with President Yoon after he paid respects at the Hyeonchunggwan Hall of the Seoul National Cemetery on Friday morning. “It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to accomplish that,” he added. “If his goal is to beat the opposition party, there is no need to engage in conversation or pay respect. However, the opposition party is one of the pillars managing the state affairs,” Lee said. “Given that the separation of legal, administrative, and judicial powers is the basic principle of South Korea’s constitutional order, it is necessary to respect each other, have conversations, and make compromises for diverging issues.”

While the presidential office explained that President Yoon is willing to cooperate since the disastrous defeat in the general elections, it remained cautious by saying that there is no plan to hold a summit with the opposition party leader, with a senior member of the office saying there is no specific plan for the summit. President Yoon has been negative toward such a summit. However, the public sentiment, which was proven to be cold toward the ruling party based on the results of the general elections, and even some of the ruling party members are putting more and more pressure on President Yoon to accept the summit. In addition, the president needs to ask for cooperation from the opposition party leader, given the situation of the minor ruling party and the major opposition party as the appointment of the next prime minister needs to be approved by the National Assembly.

President Yoon is expected to announce his opinions on the general election results and the directions for the government reform early next week. This announcement can either take the form of a spoken statement to the public or a message delivered at a State of Council meeting. Given the criticism about his one-way communication, an option to hold a press conference is also considered.

이상헌 기자 dapaper@donga.com