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President Moon wins Nat'l Assembly support for tackling COVID-19 Updated: 2020-02-28 16:36:14 KST

The South Korean government and the National Assembly have vowed to direct their full capacity in a bipartisan manner to tackle COVID-19.
The agreement came in a meeting Friday between President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of the country's four main political parties.
President Moon asked for the parties' cooperation to swiftly pass a supplementary budget bill that would be used to support quarantine efforts and revive the economy.

To fully provide the necessary support through a budget, we plan to draw up an urgent supplementary budget bill and submit it to the National Assembly as soon as possible. The key is speed. I ask that it be deliberated swiftly given the urgent situation and that it be passed in the February extraordinary session.

President Moon also stressed the need for mid-to-long term measures as well as steps to boost the country's overall quarantine capabilities.
Moon also thanked the parties for passing relevant bills and for establishing a special committee to tackle the outbreak.
The president and the party leaders also agreed to step up support for securing enough medical staff, facilities and equipment.

South Korea's ruling Democratic Party said it's time for cooperation between both the ruling and opposition parties.

"We will swiftly pass the supplementary bill. I believe it's time for the ruling and opposition parties work together on budgetary support to overcome this disaster."

The main opposition United Future Party used the meeting to stress the need for stronger measures such as a full entry ban on travelers from China.
But it added that it would spare no efforts to provide legislative support.

"We will provide preemptive support, whether in the form of emergency funds or a supplementary budget. We have to designate the city of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province as special disaster zones and provide full human and physical resources to get them out of this crisis."

Friday's meeting was the first of its kind to take place at the National Assembly since President Moon took office -- a move aimed at showing his determination to seek bipartisan support.
President Moon noted that the situation is grave, but said that with the government and parliament joining forces, the country will be able to get through the outbreak faster and revitalize the economy.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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