The chairman of South Korea’s National Assembly foreign affairs committee on Wednesday invoked his power to table the free-trade agreement with the United States for a vote, despite strong resistance from opposition parties.
Committee chairman Nam Kyung-pil, a member of the ruling Grand National Party, made the move as dozens of lawmakers of the main opposition groups blocked GNP lawmakers from entering the committee's main conference room to ratify the free trade agreement.
According to the Yonhap news agency, the abrupt submission of the FTA took place at an annex to the main conference room, after Rep. Nam presided over a budget review meeting.
The latest development came after rounds of negotiations between the rival parties broke down amid tensions over possible physical brawls at the National Assembly.
The ruling party has a solid majority to approve a bill but has been reluctant to drive the pact through parliament and risk scuffles at the National Assembly.