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Blue House suggests meeting with Moon and party leaders

Sept 25,2017
The Blue House is proposing a meeting between President Moon Jae-in, following his return from New York, and the ruling and opposition parties’ leadership this week.

Moon is expected to invite the five major political parties’ heads and floor leaders for the talks ahead of the upcoming Chuseok holiday, which kicks off Saturday. The president is expected to focus on explaining the results of his trip to New York last week, where he made an address at the UN General Assembly, held talks with world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and met with overseas Koreans, businessmen and leaders of U.S. think tanks. Before departing for the United States, Moon issued a statement on Sept. 17 expressing his desire to invite party leaders after returning from the UN General Assembly and said he would “seek discussion and cooperation on resolving national security and pending issues.”

If all party leaders - Choo Mi-ae, chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Party; Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the People’s Party; Lee Jeong-mi, chairwoman of the Justice Party; Joo Ho-young, acting head and floor leader of the Bareun Party; and Hong Joon-pyo, chairman of the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) - accept the invitation, this would be the first time Moon will be meeting with ruling and opposition party chiefs along with their floor leaders. Shortly after his inauguration, Moon met with the floor leaders of the five parties on May 19 at the Blue House in a bid to earn support from the opposition and enable cooperation in the National Assembly.

The heads of the major political parties, excluding the main opposition LKP, attended a luncheon meeting with the president on July 19, where Moon shared the results of his trip to Germany to attend the Group of 20, or G-20, leaders’ summit.

A Blue House official said Sunday, “The Blue House political affairs line is doing their best in order to enable the meeting within this week.”

The meeting, if it happens, will likely put the North Korea nuclear problem and security issues as top priority on the agenda.

Moon, during his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, emphasized peacefully solving the North Korean nuclear issue. At the same time, during his summit with Trump, the two leaders agreed that maintaining superior military capabilities to keep the North in check is critical. Moon is expected to explain to the parties the government’s strategy against the North’s nuclear and missile provocations, based on the meetings he had during his trip to New York.

BY WIE MOON-HEE, SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]