Opposition Cautious of Park’s Request for PM Recommendation

Anchor: The president has withdrawn her choice for a new prime minister amid rival party disputes over her nominee. President Park Geun-hye held talks with the speaker of the National Assembly on Tuesday and asked the nation's lawmakers to propose an alternative. Opposition parties remain cautious on the president's shift of position.

Kim Bum-soo has the latest development.

Report: President Park Geun-hye has asked the parliament to recommend a new prime minister.

During a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun at the parliament on Tuesday, the president announced the withdrawal of her previous prime minister nominee.

[Sound bite: President Park Geun-hye (Korean)]

"I came to meet the speaker since it is my great responsibility to normalize state affairs. If the parliament recommends a good person on a ruling and opposition-reached consensus, that person will be appointed to take full charge of the Cabinet."

Mired in the Choi Soon-sil scandal, the president last week replaced her chief of staff and most of her key aides while nominating Kim Byong-joon, a former chief policy secretary to late President Roh Moo-hyun to lead the Cabinet. The decision backfired as the opposition criticized that the unilateral nomination counters the spirit of creating a bipartisan Cabinet.

The opposition parties are now in doubt over whether the president will remain incapacitated behind their choice of prime minister until her term expires in February of 2018.

After Park left the National Assembly where a group of protesting lawmakers called for her resignation, the main opposition Democratic Party spokesman demanded the president to further confirm that she won't override the future prime minister's authority. The minor opposition People's Party reiterated that the president must give up her ruling party membership and draw clear parameters for the future cabinet chief.

Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

Source: KBS World Radio