President Moon returns from US to unfinished work
Jul 3, 2017
President Moon Jae-in speaks upon his arrival at the Seoul military airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Sunday. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in wrapped up his maiden trip to the US as president on a high note and returned home Sunday.

He lifted off from Joint Base Andrews in Washington at around 2:50 p.m., US time, and arrived in Seoul late in the evening.

While meeting ethnic Koreans residing in the US, as part of his last official schedule before leaving, the president said his US visit had produced “very good results.”

In their first meeting, he and US President Donald Trump have developed “trust and friendship” that should last for the several years of their term, he added.

“The main objective of the summit was to build strong trust between the leaders of the two countries. That is why the leaders held talks over the past two days, and they certainly built personal trust in the process that exceeds what we had hoped for,” Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said earlier.

Moon and Trump will meet again next week when they both fly to Hamburg, Germany, for the Group of 20 summit.

The two presidents and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a three-way meeting over dinner on the sidelines of the multilateral talks involving leaders from 17 other developed and developing countries around the globe Friday and Saturday, they said.

Trump is also expected to visit South Korea within the year on an official invitation from Moon.

Back in Seoul, Moon faces a tough road ahead to complete his first Cabinet and win parliamentary approval for his 11.2 trillion won ($9.78 billion) extra budget and government reorganization plan.

The president, who took office on May 10, is far from completing his Cabinet. Only six positions are filled. Ten have been nominated, but are not yet appointed. Two have not been named.

Three opposition parties, which control a majority of the parliament, are rejecting nominees for defense, education and labor, citing ethical lapses.

“These were not even worth a parliamentary hearing session. The president and the ruling camp should look for new figures,” said Rep. Kim Sung-won, spokesperson for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, referring to Defense Minister nominee Song Young-moo, Education Minister nominee Kim Sang-kon and Labor Minister nominee Cho Dae-yop.

This week, three more minister nominees will face lawmakers' scrutiny: Environment Minister nominee Kim Eun-kyung, Science Minister nominee You Young-min and Gender Equality Minister nominee Chung Hyun-back.

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea on Sunday vowed to accelerate the parliamentary handling of the extra budget plan, which was submitted nearly a month ago.

“July 6 marks a month since the bill's submission to the parliament. We cannot allow more delay in the extra budget plan,” Rep. Woo Won-shik, the party's floor leader said.

“We will do our best to get opposition support and pass it in the September regular session of the Assembly,” he said.

There are plans to start committee-level deliberations this week, despite opposition from the main opposition party.

Source:The Korea Herald

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