Yoon vetoes special probe bill on Marine’s death for 2nd time

President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee arrive at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, Monday (local time), ahead of Yoon's attendance at the NATO summit in Washington slated for Wednesday to Thursday. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed a bill for the second time that would have mandated a special counsel investigation into the military’s handling of the death of a Marine, according to the presidential office, Tuesday.

He exercised his veto right through the government’s electronic approval system from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he began his visit to the U.S. this week. The endorsement came hours after the Cabinet decided to request the National Assembly to reconsider the bill.

This marks the second time the president has vetoed a bill concerning this issue, with the first occurring in late May. This action makes it the 15th bill vetoed by the president since he took office, and the first since the opening of the 22nd Assembly at the end of May.

The veto also came a day after the police decided not to charge a former Marine division commander who has been at the center of the allegation.

The bill, passed at the opposition-dominated Assembly last week, aims to launch a special counsel probe into the presidential office and the defense 커뮤니티 ministry’s alleged interference in the military’s investigation into the death of Marine Cpl. Chae Su-geun, who died during a search and rescue operation in a flooded area in July 2023.

The original version of the bill concerning this issue was passed during the 21st Assembly in May, but it was vetoed by the president. When sent back to the Assembly for reconsideration, it was rejected and subsequently nullified. However, upon the commencement of the 22nd Assembly in late May, the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) and other minor opposition parties reintroduced a similar bill, which was passed. This move heightened tensions with the ruling bloc.

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