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LKP leader slams Moon’s economy push

Dec 14,2018
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party’s new floor leader urged President Moon Jae-in to apologize to the public for his income-led growth policy and devise a contingency plan to revive the economy.

Rep. Na Kyung-won made the remark as she attended her first meeting of the party’s emergency committee as floor leader. It was two days after the former judge and four-term lawmaker was elected for the party position in a landslide victory. Na accused Moon of belatedly focusing on domestic issues after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stood up his invitation to come visit Seoul. It was a jab at the president’s recent surge of public activities related to the sluggish economy.

“I think President Moon rapidly switched [his focus] on domestic issues because he was longing for Kim Jong-un to visit South Korea, but now that’s not coming along well,” Na said.

Na specifically called out Moon’s visit to the Ministry of Employment and Labor in Sejong on Tuesday where he gave a pep talk to officials there as an example of Moon finally paying attention to economic issues.

During his trip, Moon asked a mid-ranking official whether she thought the government was raising the minimum wage too fast. The official haltingly quoted her husband as saying “the direction [that the government] is heading towards is right, but I hope it looks into it a bit more well.”

During Thursday’s meeting, Na urged Moon to realize the urgency of revitalizing Korea’s economy. In response to speculation that the Blue House was considering putting the brakes on Moon’s income-led growth policy mainly by reviewing the minimum wage hikes, Na said that it was already “too late.”

“A lot of laborers got kicked out of their workplaces due to the minimum wage hike and the self-employed ran out of business, so I’m dubious as to whether it’s enough to say [the government] would [consider] a speed adjustment” for the issue.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, AHN HYO-SUNG [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]