Confirmation hearing for Cho Kuk set for Sept. 2-3

Aug 27, 2019, 09:22 am

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The National Assembly judiciary committee members – Oh Shin-hwan (from left) of the Bareunmirae Party, Song Ki-heon of the Democratic Party, and Kim Do-eup of the Liberty Korea Party hold a meeting to set a date for a confirmation hearing on justice minister nominee Cho Kuk at the National Assembly on August 26, 2019./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporters Lee Seok-jong & Jo Jae-hyung

The National Assembly judiciary committee agreed Monday to convene a two-day confirmation hearing for Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk from Sept. 2 to 3. Rep. Song Ki-heon of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), Kim Do-eup of the major opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), and Oh Shin-hwan of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party told reporters after holding a meeting at the National Assembly.

DP lawmaker Song Ki-heon said he accepted to hold a two-day confirmation hearing on Cho, judging that the nominee should be given an opportunity to speak directly to the public regarding the allegations against him.

“My party decided to accept a two-day confirmation hearing because we thought it’s necessary for the public to listen directly to the nominee,” Song said. “I believe that the LKP and Bareunmirae Party should be responsible for the failure of justice minister nominee’s hearing to comply with the National Assembly’s Personnel Hearings Act.”

LKP lawmaker Kim Do-eup said, “The DP claims that holding a hearing for two days is a violation of the National Assembly Law, however it is not against the law in the Personnel Hearings Act. Both the LKP and the Bareunmirae Party believe it as legitimate.”

“The LKP has insisted on conducting a three-day hearing because it was procedurally and physically impossible to hold it in August. We never insisted on not holding a hearing,” Kim added.

Oh Shin-hwan of the Bareunmirae Party said, “It is very fortunate that the national assembly has agreed to hold a two-day confirmation hearing from September 2 to 3. We will prepare thoroughly so that dozens of suspicions could be clarified during the two-day confirmation hearing on Cho.”

Regarding the adoption of witnesses and references, Song said, “In order to handle the process legally, we need to hold a plenary session on Tuesday to decide on the adoption of witnesses. As the opposition party has called for the adoption of witnesses that appears to be political offensive, I cannot say in advance that it is necessary to adopt all the witnesses demanded by the opposition party.”

In response, however, Kim urged the ruling party and the justice minister nominee to accept the opposition party’s demand as to who will be called to testify as a witness or a reference. 

As a result, the National Assembly is likely to face difficulties again in the process of adopting witnesses and references.

Apart from Cho, confirmation hearings for ministerial (level) nominees will kick off this week, starting with a hearing on agricultural minister nominee Kim Hyun-soo and Financial Services Commission (FSC) chief nominee Eun Sung-soo on Thursday, followed by gender equality minister nominee Lee Jeong-ok and Korea Communications Commission (KCC) chief Han Sang-hyuk on Friday. 

After the date of a confirmation hearing was set, Cho Kuk released a statement, saying, “I thank the National Assembly for setting the date of the confirmation hearing. I will readily accept the reprehension of the people’s representatives at the confirmation hearing.”

“I will clear up any misunderstandings at my confirmation hearing,” he added. 

#confirmation hearing #Cho Kuk #minister nominee 
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