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Moon to meet party leaders to discuss Japan exports

July 17,2019
President Moon Jae-in and leaders of five major political parties will meet tomorrow to discuss Korea’s countermeasures on Japan’s recent export restrictions.

Negotiators of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), Bareunmirae Party, Party for Democracy and Peace and Justice Party met at the National Assembly to arrange the meeting. They agreed that the president and the heads of the five parties will meet at the Blue House from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow.

It will be the first time in 16 months since Moon had a meeting with ruling and opposition leaders in March last year. He had a meeting with the floor leaders of the five parties in November last year.

“Because Korea and Japan are experiencing an unprecedented trade row, we believed it is necessary for the parties to cooperate in order to minimize the impact on our economy while resolving the crisis as soon as possible,” said Rep. Yun Ho-jung, secretary general of the DP, after meeting with his opposition counterparts.

“The ruling and opposition leaders will be briefed by the government on Japan’s economic retaliations and their impact on Korean industries at the Blue House meeting,” Yun said. “They will also discuss cooperative measures and other pending issues.”

DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan, LKP Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn, Bareunmirae Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu, Party for Democracy and Peace Chairman Chung Dong-young and Justice Party Chairwoman Sim Sang-jeung will attend the meeting. They will be each accompanied by their chief of staff and spokesperson.

Top Blue House and cabinet officials, such as presidential policy chief Kim Sang-jo and Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Hong Nam-ki, are expected to accompany Moon at the meeting.

“On Monday, President Moon had asked for cooperation between political parties to gather wisdom and resolve the current situation caused by Japan’s export restrictions,” Ko Min-jung, the presidential spokesperson, said.

“The public strongly demanded for a meeting, and the companies need financial support. Furthermore, the meeting between the president and the political leaders will ease people’s concerns. We welcome cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties.”

The ruling and opposition parties agreed that their agenda is to cooperate in handling Japan’s export restrictions, but they also agreed that other issues can also be raised. Other sensitive issues such as election law reform, supplementary budget and redistribution of investigative powers between the police and the prosecution may be raised.

No arrangement was made for a one-on-one meeting between Moon and LKP Chairman Hwang. Hwang has insisted on meeting with Moon exclusively, rather than along with other politicians, but said Monday that he is willing to sit down for a multiparty meeting with Moon in order to discuss Japan’s economic retaliations.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]