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DP reintroduces special probe bill on Marine's death in committee meeting despite PPP boycott

June 12, 2024 - 21:50 By Yonhap

This photo, taken June 9, 2024, shows a banner celebrating the opening of the 22nd National Assembly on the front wall of the parliament in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) proceeded with a parliamentary committee session Wednesday to reintroduce a bill mandating a special counsel investigation into the military's response to a Marine's death last year, despite fierce resistance from the ruling party.

The DP unilaterally convened a meeting of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee, a key panel with the power to approve bills for a plenary vote at the National Assembly, while lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) boycotted the session.

The bill calls for a special counsel to look into allegations that the presidential office and the defense ministry inappropriately interfered in the Marine's investigation into the death of Cpl. Chae Su-geun, killed during a search mission for victims of heavy downpours in July 2023.

The DP-led bill initially passed through the assembly last month during its previous term but was voted down in a revote conducted after President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed it, as it failed to secure the necessary minimum votes.

Wednesday's session was boycotted by PPP lawmakers after the DP and minor parties on Monday unilaterally selected 11 out of the 18 parliamentary committee chiefs without the ruling party's participation.

The rival parties have yet to agree on who will head the remaining seven committees.

Last week, the DP also convened a plenary session and elected opposition-leaning Rep. Woo Won-shik as the new Assembly speaker in the absence of the PPP, marking the first such case in South Korea's constitutional history.

The DP secured 175 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly in April's general elections in a landslide victory.