Moon meets with floor leaders of ruling, opposition parties

SEOUL, 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.

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.

"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 the 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."

Moon planned to brief the floor leaders on the status of the ongoing denuclearization process with North Korea and ask for bipartisan parliamentary support for his drive to bring permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Moon was also expected to explain his decision to ratify September's inter-Korean summit agreement without seeking parliamentary consent and appeal to the floor leaders to ratify April's first summit agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Also expected to be on Moon's agenda is the government's budget proposal for next year. Last week, Moon delivered a budget speech before the National Assembly, stressing the importance of approving the expansionary budget to boost the slumping economy.

Participants in the 100-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.

Kim of the main opposition LKP voiced criticism of the way Moon handled key issues, including his ratification of September's inter-Korean summit accord without parliamentary consent and the "income-led growth" policy.

Kim also claimed that Moon's "people-centered" economic policy puts too much emphasis on distribution, causing problems with job creation, deteriorating economic indexes and hurting the economy's growth potential.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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