Opposition parties add pressure on Yoon to accept special probe into Marine’s death

Five opposition parties jointly urged President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday to accept a special counsel investigation into the military's response to a Marine's death last year, amid speculation that Yoon may veto the bill. The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and four other opposition parties held a press conference near the presidential office to demand Yoon not veto a special counsel bill passed by the opposition-controlled National Assembly earlier this month. The DP has pushed for a special counsel probe into allegations that Yoon's office and the defense ministry inappropriately interfered in a military investigation into the death of Cpl. Chae Su-geun, who died during a search mission for downpour victims in July 2023. The ruling People Power Party (PPP) is opposed to the special counsel bill, citing an ongoing probe by the police and the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO). "A special counsel should be introduced exceptionally for special matters where the fairness a nd objectivity of the investigation results are in doubt. It is appropriate to decide on the introduction of a special counsel after observing the ongoing probe," PPP floor leader Choo Kyung-ho said during a party meeting. Yoon is widely expected to request reconsideration of the bill in the upcoming Cabinet meeting slated for Tuesday, which would mark his 10th exercise of the veto power since taking office in May 2022. During a press conference earlier this month, Yoon said if the ongoing investigation by the police and the CIO is insufficient, he "will be the first to call for a special counsel probe." For the bill to pass the National Assembly in a revote, it requires a two-thirds majority vote at the 300-member parliament. While the DP holds 155 seats, together with splinter parties and independence lawmakers, the number could rise to about 180. Without the support of some ruling party lawmakers, the bill could be discarded in the current session of the National Assembly, whose term expires later thi s month. Source: Yonhap News Agency