Moon, floor leaders pledge to work together for peace, economy

SEOUL, President Moon Jae-in and the floor leaders of the ruling and opposition parties pledged Monday to work together in a bipartisan manner to realize denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, the presidential spokesman said.

They also agreed to cooperate with each other on legislative and budgetary measures aimed at improving the livelihoods of ordinary people based on a common understanding that the economic situation is severe, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

The meeting took place under an agreement that Moon and the floor leaders of five political parties, including the ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, reached during an August meeting to hold such a session once every quarter.

"We will cooperate in a bipartisan manner for complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula based on a strong alliance and cooperation between South Korea and the United States," the sides said in a statement.

"We will try to create the conditions for inter-Korean parliamentary talks at an early date," it said.

They also pledged cooperation on a number of issues, such as providing support for small business owners and low-income earners, ensuring fair hiring and promoting reconciliation between labor and management.

The statement also said that Moon and the party leaders agreed to move swiftly forward with legislative measures to promote deregulation, tackle low birth rates and make the country safer from heinous crimes and drunk driving.

They also agreed to discuss lowering the legal voting age to 18 and electoral reforms.

At the start of the meeting, Moon stressed the importance of bipartisan cooperation.

"I hear a lot that what our politics lack the most is cooperation," Moon said at the start of the meeting. "People have high expectations about cooperation as the economy and livelihoods are in difficult situations, and inter-Korean relations and the international situation are changing rapidly. We should try to meet people's expectations about cooperation."

President Moon Jae-in held a meeting with the floor leaders of the ruling and opposition parties on Monday to brief them about his priorities and listen to their views and suggestions.

Participants in the 158-minute meeting included Hong Young-pyo of the ruling Democratic Party, Kim Sung-tae of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, Kim Kwan-young of the Bareunmirae Party, Chang Byoung-wan of the Party for Democracy and Peace and Youn So-ha of the Justice Party.

Officials said the next meeting will be held in February next year.

"I am grateful that this meeting has taken place. We got off to a really good start," Moon said after the meeting. "It's meaningful in that we agreed to meet at least once every three months. I hope to meet in between if something comes up that we need to discuss."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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