Anchor: The newly appointed presidential chief of staff made his rounds to the headquarters of each political party in a bid to arrange a meeting between President Park Geun-hye and rival party leaders. After massive protests over the weekend that called for the resignation of the president, the main and minor opposition chiefs saw no reason to meet President Park unless she withdraws her prime minister nominee.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: [Sound bite: protest rally (Nov. 5 / Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul)]
In Gwanghwamun Square just a few kilometers away from the presidential office, some 100-thousand protesters staged a rally, calling for the resignation of the president.
[Sound bite: protest rally (Nov. 5 / Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul)]
As protesters marched through downtown Seoul Saturday night, another 100-thousand joined the rally.
Newly appointed Presidential Chief of Staff Han Gwang-ok was mindful of the public anxiety over the Choi Soon-sil scandal during his first meeting with key presidential aides on Sunday.
[Sound bite: Presidential Chief of Staff Han Gwang-ok (Korean)]
"This is a grave situation in which the disappointment and concerns of the people are higher than ever. It's a very grave situation. We are heavyheartedly recognizing the stern public sentiment seen yesterday at the Gwanghwamun Square. We must swiftly prevent confusion in state affairs... "
To lead the administration out of the political turmoil, the presidential chief of staff on Monday sought the ruling and opposition parties' endorsement of Park's nominee for prime minister.
During a meeting with Saenuri Chairman Lee Jung-hyun, Han revealed that the president is willing to visit the National Assembly within days to resolve differences over the nominee.
The main opposition Democratic Party(DP) Chairwoman Choo Mi-ae, however, refused to meet Han. She demanded that the president first cancel her prime minister nomination, which was announced without any prior consultation with parties. She also asked the president to allow the parliament to recommend someone new in order for a meeting to be held.
The minor opposition People's Party Floor Leader Park Jie-won did meet the presidential chief of staff but refused to hold talks with the president, and additionally demanded that she leave the ruling party.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.
Source: KBS World Radio