SEOUL, Opposition parties reacted angrily Wednesday after the government submitted a request for parliamentary ratification of April's summit agreement with North Korea, despite an agreement to put the issue aside until after next week's third inter-Korean summit.
The government of President Moon Jae-in and his Democratic Party want the National Assembly to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration reached between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in their first summit on April 27 in order to ensure its implementation through future administrations.
But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party are opposed to the move, arguing that ratification can wait until further progress is made in the North's denuclearization process.
Amid the deadlock, the ruling and opposition parties agreed Monday to discuss the issue after next week's third summit in Pyongyang, but the government still went ahead and submitted the parliamentary ratification request on Tuesday.
"Unilaterally demanding ratification is an affront to the National Assembly," Rep. Kim Sung-tae, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said. "Ratification is to seek people's consent. This isn't something the government unilaterally demands or pushes for. We can't ratify it when there has been no progress in denuclearization since April."
Sohn Hak-kyu, leader of the Bareunmirae Party, also slammed the government.
"The National Assembly speaker and the floor leaders of the three parties agreed to discuss the ratification issue until after the inter-Korean summit, but the government ignored this," Sohn said. "This is nothing but a political ploy aimed at pressuring the National Assembly and opposition parties."
Source: Yonhap News Agency