Ruling party asks assembly speaker not to put FM’s dismissal motion to vote

SEOUL– The ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Wednesday asked National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo not to put a motion calling for dismissing the foreign minister to a vote, saying no-confidence against the top diplomat would hurt the country’s national interest.

Rep. Joo Ho-young, the PPP’s floor leader, made the appeal a day after the main opposition Democratic Party submitted the motion recommending the dismissal of Foreign Minister Park Jin for mismanaging President Yoon Suk-yeol’s recent overseas trip.

“The foreign minister should represent South Korea to protect the national interest as well as communicate and negotiate with countries across the world, but how can the minister represent the country with prestige after a non-confidence motion?” Joo said.

The DP has portrayed Yoon’s trip to Britain, New York and Canada as a diplomatic fiasco fraught with gaffes and blunders, including his failure to pay respect to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II before the state funeral and the lack of a tangible outcome from a summit with Japan.

But the biggest gaffe of all was Yoon’s use of foul language caught on a hot mic in New York.

Though the recording was not clear due to noise, many thought Yoon was talking about U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden. Yoon’s office rejected the claim, saying he was referring to South Korea’s opposition-controlled National Assembly and did not mention U.S. Congress or Biden.

The National Assembly speaker has the right to put the motion to a vote.

Should a vote be held, the motion is certain to pass through the National Assembly as the DP holds 169 out of 299 parliamentary seats. Still, however, it will only be symbolic because it is not legally binding and Yoon has no obligation to comply with it.

Source: Yonhap News Agency