Three-way talks fail to break deadlock

Three-way talks fail to break deadlock

The first three-way talks between President Park Geun-hye and the leaders of the two main parties failed to break the political deadlock Monday, with the opposition condemning the president for simply repeating her initial position without movement toward reform of the spy agency.

"We (the president and I) remained apart on all of our demands," Democratic Party chairman Kim Han-gil said after the talks. "The dark night of democracy has been extended. We will be returning to the (outdoor protest) tent," he said.

Political gridlock at the Assembly that has opened for its regular session this month looks to continue after the reluctant gathering of Park, Kim and ruling Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo-yea as they failed to come to an agreement.

The DP is expected to continue its protest against the National Intelligence Service's alleged attempt to meddle in last year's presidential election, and the purported pressure from Cheong Wa Dae that led to the chief prosecutor's resignation.

Tense exchanges filled the talks as the opposition demanded that Park apologise for the series of volatile political issues, while Park denied all allegations directed at her.

With regard to the NIS' alleged smear campaign during the presidential election, Park said she would seek out those responsible when the court decision is made. Former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon and former Seoul police commissioner Kim Yong-pan are currently indicted for violating the elections law.

Park also refused to apologise for the NIS controversy saying that the case occurred during the previous administration, and instead insisted the agency's reform plan would be innovative.

Park also took time to spin the criticism at her liberal rivals, asking why the previous governments of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun could not implement the agency's reform.

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