Passage of US$9.8 bil. supplementary bill delayed as parties clash over items

We start this lunchtime at the National Assembly… An agreement between Korea’s three major political
parties to pass a multi-billion dollar supplementary budget bill at a plenary session today…
looks in danger of falling apart at the seams. For more, we connect our parliamentary correspondent,
Park Ji-won. So Jiwon, a full assembly… scheduled for
this morning… was delayed… give us the details… That’s right, Mark. The National Assembly’s budget committee held
negotiations late into Monday night,… but the parties could not see eye-to-eye on the
nine-point-eight billion U.S. dollar budget bill. The disagreement resulted in the cancelation
of this morning’s pre-scheduled full assembly,… during which a vote to approve the budget
was supposed to be held. The ruling Saenuri Party blames the main opposition
Minjoo Party for the hold-up. It says the Minjoo Party kept attaching new
conditions,… such as items like childcare services and additional financial aid to South
Korean businesses shut out of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. The ruling party said it was not possible
to add anything else. But the Minjoo Party says the ruling party
blocked their efforts to give more financial help to ordinary people. It accuses the Saenuri Party of allowing insolvent
conglomerates in the shipbuilding and shipping industries to receive billions of dollars
in government handouts,… while ignoring the needs of ordinary people struggling to
get by. With the parties in a deadlock,… it’s not
yet clear whether the budget supplement will pass the assembly before the end of the day. And the deployment of the THAAD missile defense
system is another huge issue at the assembly. The ruling party says it will support THAAD
as part of its official party platform. Fill us in on that… Yes,.. Mark. The decision was reached this morning during
the ruling Saenuri Party’s general meeting of all its lawmakers. Floor leader Chung Jin-suk said the ruling
party has decided to support the U.S. missile defense system as its official party platform
in an effort to show its strong determination to counter North Korea’s growing missile threats. This comes a matter of days after the new
leader of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, Choo Mi-ae, expressed her personal
opposition to the deployment,… although the liberal party has yet to take an official
position on the matter. So it looks likely that we can expect some
political fireworks in the months ahead… on this highly sensitive issue. Mark. Thanks, Jiwon. Please do keep us updated on the supplementary
budget and any developments regarding THAAD… and we’ll speak to you later. That was our Park Ji-won reporting from the
National Assembly.

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