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Main opposition party urges Park to accept trade-off

March 6, 2013 - 20:38 By 박형기

The main opposition Democratic United Party urged President Park Geun-hye Wednesday to accept a deal to end the impasse over her government reorganization bill that has created a deadlock in the running of state affairs.

DUP floor leader Park Ki-choon held an emergency news conference to make the appeal, offering to accept a key controversial part of the bill if the president makes three concessions in return.

The bill calls for a reorganization of the government's structural layout that would include new or revived ministries and a reassignment of duties among existing government offices.

The controversy surrounds a proposed transfer of some duties from the watchdog Korea Communications Commission to the Future Creation and Science Ministry to be created under the bill.

President Park and the ruling Saenuri Party insist the transfer is necessary to boost government efficiency, while the DUP argues the administration is trying to control the media by taking over the commission's rights to allocate cable television channel numbers.

"The DUP has decided to make a concession out of desperation and is once again making an offer," DUP floor leader Park said, citing the heightened security tensions following North Korea's threat Tuesday to nullify the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

In return for accepting the transfer of channel allocation rights, Park said the president should strengthen appointment criteria for the management of public broadcasting firms, hold parliamentary hearings on a massive media walkout last year and force the resignation of the head of public broadcaster MBC.

"There is opposition within our party to the reversal in our stance," Park said. "But we will do our best to persuade them because if the drift in state affairs and confrontation (between parties) continue, the people will end up bearing all the harm."

The ongoing parliamentary impasse, coupled with a delay in the parliamentary confirmation process for Cabinet nominees, has created a vacuum in the running of state affairs since Park took office nine days ago. (Yonhap News)