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Choi He-suk
Monday, Jun 16, 2014

Asia

Korea's main political parties on collision course over Sewol, P.M. nominee

The Korea Herald/ANN | Choi He-suk | Monday, Jun 16, 2014

The two main parties are set to clash heads over the Sewol ferry disaster and Prime Minister-designate Moon Chang-keuk in the three-day interpellation session, as each seeks to gain the upper hand ahead of the July 30 parliamentary by-elections.

The three-day session, which begins Wednesday, will be dominated by issues surrounding the April 16 ferry disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy is also expected to hone in on President Park Geun-hye's personnel management, which it has termed a disaster.

The ruling party Saenuri Party, for its part, has come to Moon's defence, saying that he needs to be vetted through the confirmation hearing.

The ruling party has also attacked the opposition bloc, accusing it of using the controversy surrounding Moon to score political points.

The NPAD, which has been concentrating fire on Moon's questionable comments regarding historical issues, called for his withdrawal Sunday.

"(If Moon stays on) it will be an insult to the people, turn Korea into a pathetic nation, cast doubt on President Park Geun-hye's concept of a nation and bring ridicule to the Saenuri Party," NPAD spokesman Park Gwang-on said.

"The people have made their judgment. The colonisation (of Korea by Japan) and division (of the peninsula) are not the God's will, but Moon's resignation is the will of the people."

Aside from the columns Moon wrote as a chief editorial writer of a national daily that the opposition claims to have a conservative bias, Moon's historical views have been brought into question. In a lecture he delivered at his church, Moon said that Japan's colonisation of Korea and the 1950-53 Korean War were all part of God's plan.

Moon, for his part, attempted to put the matter to rest with an explanation and apology on Sunday.

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