Rival parties should focus on daunting challenges

A political confrontation is escalating between the ruling and opposition camps over President Yoon Suk-yeol's reported use of foul language last week during his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. On Tuesday, the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) submitted a motion to the National Assembly, requesting Yoon sack Foreign Minister Park Jin for the diplomatic blunders.

The DPK said the motion was backed unanimously by its 169 lawmakers and vowed to ram it through the Assembly on Thursday. The motion is non-binding and Yoon is highly likely to reject it. Yet the DPK's move will surely put more pressure on the presidential office and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) to accept its demands for Yoon's apology and to reshuffle his diplomatic staff.

The DPK has been lambasting Yoon for his failure to pay his respects to British Queen Elizabeth II while she was lying in state, a day before he attended her funeral in London. It has also been raising the issue of Yoon's 48-second encounter with U.S. President Joe Biden, instead of a formal summit. The party has criticized Yoon for having kept a low profile only to have "informal talks" with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. His profanity allegedly directed at the U.S. Congress and Biden has added fuel to the fire.

Should Yoon dismiss the DPK's request, he cannot avoid criticism over his "stubbornness" and wayward flair. The DPK is stepping up its fight against Yoon and the PPP, plunging political circles into a further quagmire. The PPP, for its part, is showing no signs of compromise, deepening the political deadlock.

The PPP has decided to form a taskforce led by Rep. Park Dae-chul to discover the truth behind the alleged biased reporting by MBC. PPP lawmakers belonging to the relevant Assembly committee issued a statement, describing the broadcaster's reporting as "anti-state and false." In response, six media organizations, including the Korea Broadcasting Journalist Association, held a joint press conference Tuesday.

They criticized the governing camp for attempting to pass the buck on to the media regarding Yoon's diplomatic gaffes and put the broadcaster under its control. The PPP's reaction is inappropriate as it could turn the conflict into a dispute between the government and media. Yoon should do everything he can to prevent the political conflict from escalating. He needs to consider making a sincere apology for his apparent diplomatic fumbles.

The nation is facing mounting challenges arising from the U.S.' aggressive monetary tightening, the plunging value of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar and soaring inflation, which are raising fears of a recession and economic woes. Worse still, the country's surging trade deficit is intensifying a sense of crisis. North Korea is another risk factor as the country has vowed not to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Now Yoon and his party should take more responsibility for state affairs and national interests. The DPK, for its part, should refrain from excessive political offensives ahead of the Assembly's inspection of the government. The rival parties should stop their current brawl that could tarnish the nation's prestige. Instead, they need to combine efforts to focus on how to tackle the looming crisis, regain financial and economic stability and improve the people's livelihoods.



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Deepening political quagmire

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28.09.2022
Rival parties should focus on daunting challenges

A political confrontation is escalating between the ruling and opposition camps over President Yoon Suk-yeol's reported use of foul language last week during his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. On Tuesday, the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) submitted a motion to the National Assembly, requesting Yoon sack Foreign Minister Park Jin for the diplomatic blunders.

The DPK said the motion was backed unanimously by its 169 lawmakers and vowed to ram it through the Assembly on Thursday. The motion is non-binding and Yoon is highly likely to reject it. Yet the DPK's move will surely put more pressure on the presidential office and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) to accept its demands for Yoon's apology and to reshuffle his diplomatic staff.

The DPK has been........

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