After parliament twice failed to issue a report on the nominee's confirmation hearing, President Moon Jae-in put his foot down and appointed Kang Kyung-wha foreign minister on Sunday afternoon.
He stressed that he can't leave the top diplomat's seat vacant, especially with the Seoul-Washington summit just around the corner, as well as the G20 summit in Germany, shortly afterward.
"I truly believe even the opposition party will understand this situation.
Now you must prove to them that you are up to the task."
( . .)"
Kang, a former UN official, said that she feels grateful and owes an apology to those who worked hard for her appointment.
She also pledged to do everything she can to expand the horizon of Korean diplomacy, alongside the people, and get ready for the upcoming summit meetings in Washington and Germany.
She even said she's planning to call her U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson and try to find a way to meet him in person to make his acquaintance before President Moon leaves for Washington.
However, the appointment of Kang over the objections of parliament is expected to heighten the existing tension between Moon and the opposition parties.
Opposition lawmakers had objected to Kang's nomination over allegations including the registration of a false address for her daughter, as well as tax evasion.
Soon after Kang's appointment, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, the minor opposition People's Party, and the splinter Bareun Party criticized the President for pushing through Kang's appointment, calling it "a disaster" and saying he's (quote) "ignoring the people," and "practically rejecting cooperation with parliament."
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea, on the other hand, reprimanded the opposition parties, saying they are overlooking the overwhelming public support for Kang's appointment, and by doing so they are preventing the stabilization of state affairs.
But the Blue House stressed that the President is still sincerely willing to cooperate with the parties.
"Please understand the difficulty of launching a new administration with out the benefit of a Presidential transition team."
The dissonance between the Blue House and the National Assembly will likely continue, especially with hot potatoes in line to be dealt with, including the confirmation of the rest of the cabinet members,.. as well as the passing of the supplementary budget proposed by President Moon himself.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.