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Moon to meet party leaders amid political stalemate
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승인 2019.11.10  
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SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in was to meet the leaders of five political parties Sunday, the first such meeting in about four months, amid a political impasse over key reform bills and other pending issues.

Moon has invited the political leaders to his office, Cheong Wa Dae, for a dinner to express thanks for their condolences over the death of his mother in late October, the presidential office said.

All five party chiefs, including Lee Hae-chan, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party, and Hwang Kyo-ahn, chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, were to attend the meeting.

They last gathered in July to discuss ways to cope with Japan's export curbs targeting South Korea.

The dinner meeting comes at a time when tensions are high over key political and judiciary reform bills that were placed on the fast track in April despite objections from the main opposition party, the Liberty Korea Party.

Rival parties sharply differ over the prosecution reform-related bills, in particular, including a proposal to set up an independent unit to probe corruption allegations by high-ranking public officials.

Other contentious issues include a parliamentary review of the government's 513.5 trillion-won (US$444 billion) budget for next year and the looming expiry of Seoul's military information-sharing pact with Tokyo.

It is also the first such gathering since former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, one of Moon's closest aides, stepped down last month following a series of massive street rallies for and against his appointment.

Cho's family is being investigated over alleged irregularities, including his wife's questionable investment in a private equity fund.

The dinner meeting will be held behind closed doors.

Separately, presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min, Cheong Wa Dae chief of staff for policy Kim Sang-jo and Chung Eui-yong, head of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office, were to hold a press conference later in the day over the direction of policy in the second half of Moon's presidency.

 

 

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