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Main opposition presses Yoon to accept no-confidence motion against FM

10:56 September 30, 2022

By Lee Minji

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) urged President Yoon Suk-yeol to sack Foreign Minister Park Jin on Friday, a day after it passed a no-confidence motion to hold the top diplomat responsible for what it claims was a disastrous overseas trip by Yoon.

"If President Yoon Suk-yeol has respect for parliamentary democracy at the very least, he must accept the National Assembly's decision," Park Hong-keun, DP floor leader, told the party's Supreme Council meeting.

"Snubbing the decision without a public apology or an overhaul of the diplomatic lineup is a head-on challenge against the people. I hope President Yoon does not throw away the last opportunity that the people gave him," he said.

Park's remarks came a day after the DP, which holds a majority with 169 out of 299 parliamentary seats, passed a motion calling for the dismissal of the foreign minister despite the ruling party's boycott of the vote.

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, the lack of a tangible outcome from a summit with Japan and his use of foul language caught on a hot mic in New York.

Though the recording was not clear due to noise, many thought Yoon was talking about U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden. Yoon's office rejected the claim, saying he was referring to South Korea's opposition-controlled National Assembly and did not mention U.S. Congress or Biden.

Yoon is unlikely to comply with the motion.

Asked to comment on the motion early Thursday, Yoon said Park is a "remarkably capable person and is constantly on the move around the world for the sake of the national interest to the point that I'm worried about his health."

"I think the people are clearly aware of what is right and wrong," he said.

Rep. Park Hong-keun, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, speaks during the party's Supreme Council meeting in the southwestern town of Muan, South Jeolla Province, on Sept. 30, 2022. (Yonhap)


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