DPK leader to put livelihood matters at top of agenda for talks with Yoon

President Yoon Suk Yeol shakes hands with Democratic Party of Korea leader Lee Jae-myung, left, during a ceremony marking the 105th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement at the Memorial Hall of Yu Gwan-sun in Seoul, March 1. Yonhap

Livelihood issues are expected to top the agenda for the first-ever talks between President Yoon Suk Yeol and opposition leader Lee Jae-myung expected to take place this week, aides to Lee said Sunday. During a phone call Friday, Yoon proposed holding a meeting with Lee, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), after congratulating him and other party members on their victory in the April 10 parliamentary elections. If realized, it will be their first formal talks since Yoon took office in May 2022.”Lee will put forward livelihood and national tasks as his top agenda items,” a close aide to Lee said in a call with Yonhap News Agency. “Chairman Lee’s thought is that the opposition party should help the presidential office, which is in charge of state affairs, since there are no ruling or opposition parties when it comes to livelihood issues.”Lee is expected to bring up his party’s plan to distribute government cash vouchers worth 250,000 won ($181.8) to all households, a plan that Lee argues could boost spending and revive the local economy.

Since the general elections, Lee has called for support from the ruling People Power Party (PPP) for the cash handout scheme and demanded the passage of a supplementary budget to fund the program, which is estimated to cost around 13 trillion won.Observers speculate that other livelihood issues, such as ways to tackle the medical service vacuum from the protracted doctors’ walkout and a series of pending bills, including the opposition-led grain bill, could also be put on the negotiating table.Eyes are on whether the meeting will also cover sensitive topics involving the presidential office, including a bill to open an independent council investigation into allegations involving first lady Kim Keon Hee.Another point to note is what Lee would say regarding the government’s mulling of candidates for the next prime minister and the presidential chief of staff, 스포츠토토존 both of whom resigned after the PPP’s crushing election defeat

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