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"Why only Korea?" "If we do, US will do"
Kim Samkwon, Reporter
13 February, the Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee(UFATC) decided to bring up the 'Korea-US FTA proposal for ratification' for discussion and to relegate the proposal to the Legislation and Judiciary Committee after public hearings.

On that day, Kim-Wonwoong, a chairperson of the UFATC even exercised the right to keep order for bringing up the proposal for discussion. Since the lawmakers of the KDLP(Korean Democratic Labor Party) such as Kang-GiKap occupied the assembly hall and launched sit-in struggle there against placing the bill in the agenda, one day before that day the meeting was canceled. Chair Kim, in return, moved the assembly hall to room 245 of the national assembly main building and with national assembly police, thoroughly blocked the entree of lawmakers of the KDLP into the hall.

KDLP "There is no reason to deal with the proposal for ratification in a rush"

While the meeting was going on, lawmakers of the KDLP hold a press conference in front of the meeting hall and asserted "When all leading candidates for US presidential election disagree with the Korea-US FTA and a long time deflation in US economy is forecasted, there is no reason to start dealing with the proposal for ratification in a rush"

Moreover, they urged "in this situation, being placed the proposal on the agenda by our national assembly in advance is very humiliating diplomacy" and "the UNDP and the GNP should stop the plan to pass the proposal in a mad rush by February, rather do conduct national assembly investigation"

Regarding the issue of importing beef related to the Korea-US FTA, the KDLP commented "the issue of importing US beef can be discussed when scientific safety is guaranteed but it can not be an issue to negotiate just in trade and industry"

The chairperson, Kim-Wonwoong announced "blocking to place the proposal for ratification on the agenda is likely that driving a car can not keep pace with drinking alcohol" and "it is natural process to bring up it for discussion and inform our conviction to the people"

Song-Minsoon "Once we ratify it, US must be pressed"

While all lawmakers of the KDLP including Kwon-youngkil who is a member of the UFATC were demonstrating in front of the assembly hall, Song-Minsoon, the minister of the Foreign affairs and Trade Ministry and Kim-Jonghoon, the chief of the trade negotiation committee participated the meeting.

Minister Song-Minsoon insisted "Being ratified it in advance by us is pressing US" and "If counterpart cannot pass the agreement after we did, it must be natural to be pressed" and urged to set about the proposal for ratification in a rush.

In response to the question by a lawmaker, Nam-Gyeongpil of the GNP "Now the issue of beef is the precondition of the Korea-US FTA, so if ratification of the Korea-US FTA is failed in US national assembly and it is ratified just in Korea, would it result in opening the beef market to US?", Kim-Jonghoon asserted "Considering the previous cases, prospecting process and our strategy, your concern can be accepted as a possibility but, it's not realistic'

GNP-UNDP, just arguing the responsibility of "delayed disposing of the proposal for ratification"

On that day, in the meeting lawmakers of the GNP and UNDP had one voice to demand swift disposing the proposal for ratification and just argued the responsibility of delayed disposal. Only Choi-Sung, a lawmaker of the UNDP showed careful attitude with saying "I object to dispose the proposal in a rush in this national assembly" and "after handing over power to the next government, it would be better to discuss at full and proceed it with consideration of all situation"

In the response to his opinion, the chairperson, Kim-Wonwoong of the UNDP urged "there are a few opinions to pass over this agenda to the next national assembly, but it might be a waste to discuss again in the 18th national assembly" and "rather it's our political responsibility to dispose the proposal for ratification in the 17th national assembly"

Also, he criticized "for dealing with the proposal, responsibility is not only placed in the national assembly" and "although Lee-Myeonbak, elected president said early settlement, the economy department in the president take-over committee tends to have more passive stand than the Roh-Moohyeon government."

On the contrary, Lee-Haebong, a lawmaker of GNP insisted "Ruling party lawmakers are objecting the Korea-US FTA proposed by Roh-Moohyeon as a main project," and flung out towards the UNDP "If you object the project proposed by the president, what a lovely ruling party is!!!"

On that day, in terms of the measure to the damage of agricultural area, which is forecasted after the Korea-US FTA , Kim-Yongkap, a lawmaker of the GNP addressed "Lee-Myeongbak should make a promise to the people to solve this issues and I don't know what the president take-over committee is doing now" and "they should tell the people to pass the Korea-US FTA with their responsibility, instead of suggesting fund-raising for reconstruction of SoongReaMoon"

Translated by Seo Seonyoung

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