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(2nd LD) DP introduces motion for FM's dismissal

15:42 September 27, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS foreign minister's comments in last 2 paras)
By Lee Minji

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) submitted a motion calling for the dismissal of Foreign Minster Park Jin on Tuesday, stepping up attacks on President Yoon Suk-yeol over his use of foul language during last week's overseas trip.

The motion is certain to pass through the National Assembly as the DP holds 169 out of 299 parliamentary seats. Still, however, it will only be symbolic because it is not legally binding and Yoon has no obligation to comply with it.

The DP has portrayed Yoon's trip to Britain, New York and Canada as a diplomatic fiasco fraught with gaffes and blunders, including his failure to pay respect to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II before the state funeral and the lack of a tangible outcome from a summit with Japan.

But the biggest gaffe of all was Yoon's use of foul language caught on a hot mic during a trip to New York.

Though the recording was not clear due to noise, many thought Yoon was talking about U.S. Congress and U.S. President Joe Biden. Yoon's office rejected the claim, saying he was referring to South Korea's opposition-controlled National Assembly without mentioning U.S. Congress or Biden.

"We are holding the minister accountable for the worst diplomatic disaster in history marred with hasty preparation, incompetence, humiliation and vulgar remarks, and that reaped no results," Rep. Park Hong-keun told a party meeting before proposing the dismissal motion.

The party said it will pass the motion Thursday.

By law, a dismissal motion can be introduced with support from one-third of all lawmakers. If proposed, it should be handled within 72 hours and needs the approval of more than half of all members of the National Assembly to pass.

A dismissal motion for a Cabinet member has been approved three times since 1987.

After the motion was submitted, the foreign minister told reporters he is "disappointed" with the motion at a time when South Korea is facing difficult diplomatic and national security circumstances.

"I will not falter, and do my best to serve the people and the national interest as this country's foreign minister," Park said.

Main opposition Democratic Party floor leader Park Hong-keun speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly on Sept. 27, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin speaks to reporters after holding talks with his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, in New York, in this file photo taken Sept. 19, 2022. (Pool photo) (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
(END)

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