SEOUL, The National Assembly was set to wrap up its 20-day audit of government agencies Monday, with rival parties likely to continue to clash over President Moon Jae-in's recent ratification of inter-Korean agreements.
Fourteen out of 17 parliamentary standing committees have been examining the performance of 734 government agencies since Oct. 10, with 13 of them set to convene final sessions Monday.
The remaining three panels, including the intelligence committee, will separately audit 19 organizations from Tuesday to Nov. 7.
During the audits of the unification and defense ministries, rival parties will likely bicker over Moon's ratification of his third summit agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and an inter-Korean military agreement, both signed Sept. 19, without parliamentary consent.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) said the move was deemed as a violation of the Constitution, under which ratification of treaties with foreign nations pertaining to national security and needing budget spending are subject to parliamentary consent.
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) said that parliamentary consent for those deals is not necessary as they are annexed to the April inter-Korean summit agreement, which is pending at the National Assembly for its consent to ratification.
The party also argued the deals should be dealt with not by the constitutional clause but a law on inter-Korean ties, which defines North Korea as an entity in a special relationship with the South, not as a nation state. They also do not carry serious burdens of fiscal spending, the DP claimed.
Meanwhile, ruling and some opposition parties' move to set up a special tribunal for a judiciary power abuse scandal will be intensively debated during the legislation committee's audits of the Supreme Court and the legislation ministry.
Four parties that included the DP announced last week they will push for a motion to establish a special panel of judges to try an allegation that ex-Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae used trials in its dealing with the presidential office.
The LKP, which did not join the move, claimed that the drive will hamper the principle of separating legislative, administrative and judicial powers.
The impact of the government's income-led growth policy will also top the agenda during parties' audits of the finance ministry and the central bank.
Opposition parties have blamed Moon's economic policy for sluggish job markets.
Income-driven growth, one of the three pillars of the Moon government's economic policy, aims to spur growth by increasing poor people's incomes and consumption.
In a related move, the government has hiked the minimum wage twice, but the move has apparently had the unintended effect of hampering job growth.
Source: Yonhap News Agency