President Yoon Suk Yeol shakes hands with main opposition Democratic Party of Korea Chairman Lee Jae-myung during their first official meeting at the presidential office in Yongsan District, Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) Chairman Lee Jae-myung urged President Yoon Suk Yeol to reconsider his approach to governing and state affairs, during their first-ever official meeting on Monday.Lee also called on the president to support the DPK’s nationwide subsidy program and refrain from using his veto power to reject policies proposed by the opposition.The DPK chief’s requests went unanswered by Yoon, leaving the main opposition disappointed by the president’s apparent resistance to change. The DPK leader described the long-awaited meeting as “frustrating and regretful.”The president and the DPK chairman engaged in a 135-minute conversation at Yoon’s office, addressing various issues, such as the importance of enhancing the grassroots economy and the government’s medical reform initiative.It was their first official meeting since Yoon assumed office in May 2022, after narrowly defeating his opposition rival in the presidential race.The meeting followed Yoon’s invitation to Lee to the presidential office after the ruling People Power Party (PPP) suffered a crushing defeat in the April 10 general elections. With the ruling party securing only 108 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, cooperation with the DPK became imperative for Yoon to effectively govern the country during the remaining three years of his presidency.However, the meeting concluded without the two sides reaching an agreement or issuing a joint statement.

During their opening remarks in front of reporters, Yoon offered a brief but cordial greeting, while Lee delivered a lengthy statement urging the president to change his approach to governance and accept several demands from the opposition.“The election results underscored the public’s desire for competent governing to address national challenges, fair treatment under the law for all, and a focus on communication and collaboration rather than repression,” Lee said. “And I ask the president to pay attention to those demands, with the mindset that this is the last chance to change the direction of governing.”Lee urged the president to “positively consider” the DPK’s proposal to provide local vouchers worth 250,000 won ($180) to every citizen as an urgent measure to boost the grassroots economy.“I highlighted that providing the subsidy in the form of local vouchers would greatly benefit community enterprises and small business owners, helping to strengthen the grassroots economy,” Lee said. “I especially request the president to accept this.”According to both sides, the president opposed the subsidy program, citing the priority of “executing existing budgets earmarked for vulnerable groups.” Despite the DPK leader’s repeated requests, there was no agreement to establish a consultative body involving the government, the DPK, and the PPP to discuss the program.”The president acknowledged similar opinions on providing subsidies to the public, but firmly rejected them due to concerns about potential inflation ,” DPK chief policymaker Rep. Jin Sung-joon told reporters after the meeting.”He was expected to approach the agenda with an open mind for discussion, but he 스포츠토토존 did not.”

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