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Pres. Yoon to have first meeting with Lee Jae-myung

Posted April. 20, 2024 08:14,   

Updated April. 20, 2024 08:14


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol proposed a meeting at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul next week over the phone conversation with the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, Lee Jae-myung, on Friday. This is the first action taken since the ruling party’s crushing defeat in the April 10 general elections, which led to an increased need for cooperation with the opposition party for managing state affairs. This is the second time the two who competed for the presidency in the 2022 presidential elections talked over the phone since August 2022, when Lee was elected as the leader of the opposition party.

“President Yoon talked to Lee for about five minutes over the phone around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. He congratulated Lee for the election of the Democratic Party members at the general elections, including Lee, and proposed a meeting next week,” said Lee Do-woon, the senior presidential secretary for public relations, during a briefing at 4 p.m. on Friday. President Yoon reportedly suggested more frequent communication to discuss state affairs. The president also asked to be excused for a delay in his phone call and a suggestion for a meeting due to the delayed appointment of a chief presidential secretary and a successor prime minister.

The senior secretary shared that Lee thanked the president for the invitation with an open heart. The opposition party leader expressed his willingness to cooperate for state affairs, adding that his party should help with the presidential work. The phone call was proposed by Chief Presidential Secretary Lee Kwan-seop to the Chief Secretary to the Democratic Party’s leader, Chun Joon-ho, around 1 p.m. on Friday. “A number of state matters are waiting to be resolved, and people’s lives are in a dire situation,” said Kang Sun-woo, the spokesperson of the Democratic Party. “Both the president and the party leader are expected to have a frank conversation, regardless of their parties.”

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com