South Korea's three main party leaders yesterday failed to settle a lingering political dispute over local elections which has paralyzed the national parliament for months.

The ruling Democratic Liberal Party's (DLP) executive chairman, Kim Young Sam, talked with main opposition Democratic Party (DP) leader Kim Dae Jung and Chung Ju Yung, leader of the United People's Party (UPP).

It was the first time the three leaders had met since a new National Assembly was inaugurated in May and suspended after a single session.

But yesterday's talks faltered when Kim Young Sam refused to accept opposition demands that local elections to pick the heads of major cities and local governments be held this year.

The official said Kim Young Sam hinted the DLP intended to convene a special parliamentary session to push through a government-sponsored bill postponing the elections until 1995. Kim Dae Jung told reporters his party would block any bid to convene parliament to approve postponement of the vote.

The opposition has boycotted parliament, accusing President Roh Tae Woo of fraud by seeking to boost his own electoral prospects by keeping the local chiefs, who are government appointees, in power. Mr. Roh indefinitely postponed the local elections in January, citing pressure on the country's troubled economy.

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