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Ruling party pushes for parliamentary probe into past gov't alleged media control

2017/09/15 16:36

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SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- The ruling party on Friday called for a parliamentary probe into alleged attempts by the former conservative governments to control local broadcasters in a tit-for-tat move against its rival's accusations targeting the incumbent government.

All of the 121 Democratic Party lawmakers signed a motion requesting the investigation into 37 cases involving the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations that led the country for some nine years since 2008.

Among the cases are purported political moves to meddle in the operations of three major broadcasters -- KBS, MBC and YTN -- and those involving journalists thought to have been unfairly sacked due to their political views.

The motion submitted Friday is seen as a counterweight against the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP)'s stepped-up offensive against the liberal Moon Jae-in government.

Since a local court issued a warrant on Sept. 1 to detain MBC chief Kim Jang-kyom over alleged unfair labor practices, the LKP ratcheted up its claim of the government attempt to "hold sway" over the media. The party even staged a weeklong legislative boycott earlier this month.

The current government and ruling party have stressed the importance of public broadcasters' objectivity and reliability. But the opposition party viewed the move with suspicion, calling on the ruling camp to get their hands off media operations.

Acrimony between the rival parties is expected to deepen if the probe is given the green light. The parties have so far bickered over a series of issues, including the president's top personnel choices, darkening chances of Moon's reform bills passing the legislature.

Two lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party submit to the legislature a motion calling for a parliamentary probe into alleged attempts by past governments to meddle in local broadcasters at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2017. (Yonhap) Two lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party submit to the legislature a motion calling for a parliamentary probe into alleged attempts by past governments to meddle in local broadcasters at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2017. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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