Tags: Kim | Accepts | Cabinet's | Resignation

Kim Accepts Cabinet's Resignation

Tuesday, 04 September 2001 12:00 AM

Presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said Kim will likely announce a reshuffle of the Cabinet this week. Park added that senior presidential staff also resigned since they are considered to be accountable for the parliamentary vote. Leaders of the Kim's ruling Millennium Democratic Party also decided to step down.

Government spokesman Oh Hong-keun said that the vote of no confidence against Unification Minister Lim Dong-won was "very regrettable and shocking." Observers described it as a major blow to Kim's "sunshine" policy of engaging the North. Lim was one of the main architects of the policy.

A total of 148 lawmakers voted against Lim while 119 voted for him despite Kim's strong support of the man who played a key role in inter-Korean exchanges. It was the forward-looking "sunshine" policy that counted greatly toward Kim's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

Lim, the first Cabinet officer to be voted out of office in 30 years, called for the government to push ahead with the policy of reconciliation and cooperation with North Korea. "There are no alternatives to the 'sunshine' policy as is shown by the fact that those who do not agree with it have no substitute," Lim said.

Lim had faced pressure to resign in recent weeks when he allowed some 300 religious, civic and labor leaders to travel to North Korea, despite fears that Pyongyang would use the occasion for political propaganda. Some delegates were accused of praising the North Korean government during the visit and were arrested when they returned to Seoul for violating of South Korea's anti-communist national security law.

The parliamentary vote has led to the collapse of the country's ruling alliance as the United Liberal Democrats, the minor partner in the coalition, sided with the opposition in voting against Lim, despite the ruling party's warning that it could breakup the alliance. The two parties declared the end of their 4-year-old coalition.

"We now face a political upheaval which forces us to carry out a sweeping shake-up of the ruling camp," MDP head Kim Joong-kwon told a meeting of senior party members.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said Kim will likely announce a reshuffle of the Cabinet this week. Park added that senior presidential staff also resigned since they are considered to be accountable for the parliamentary vote. Leaders of the Kim's ruling Millennium...
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2001-00-04
Tuesday, 04 September 2001 12:00 AM
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