SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties on Tuesday clashed over the Cabinet's approval of an inter-Korean summit agreement in September prior to parliamentary ratification of the April summit deal clinched between the two Koreas.
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) defended the move, calling on the parliament to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration clinched in April. But conservative opposition parties denounced it, saying that the Moon Jae-in government is disregarding the National Assembly.
The Cabinet endorsed the Pyongyang Declaration and a military inter-Korean agreement after the legislation ministry concluded that they do not need parliamentary ratification as the April summit agreement is currently being reviewed for ratification by the parliament.
The DP said that it is inevitable that the Cabinet approved the summit agreement at a time when inter-Korean contacts are under way.
"It is not an issue of whether the Pyongyang summit deal should be approved prior to or after the ratification of the Panmunjom Declaration," the ruling party said.
"The approval also indicates the need for the National Assembly to ratify the April summit deal. We hope that the political circle will cooperate with the ratification to help improve inter-Korean ties."
But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) expressed deep regret over the Cabinet's approval without parliamentary consent.
"The (Moon Jae-in) government claims that the Panmunjom Declaration needs parliamentary ratification, but there is no need to ratify the Pyongyang summit and military agreements, key elements (of the April deal). This perception shows how the president is dogmatic," Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the LKP, said.
"The government is calling on opposition parties to cooperate, but in reality, it ignores people and the National Assembly," he added.
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) raised the issue of procedural legitimacy.
"It is problematic that the Cabinet approved the Pyongyang deal first just because the president could not sign the April summit agreement pending on the parliament," Kim Kwan-young, the floor leader of the BP, said. "It should have watched the National Assembly's discussion on the April deal further."
Meanwhile, the liberal opposition Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP) and the Justice Party welcomed the approval.
"Given the need to guarantee stability for inter-Korean cooperation, the approval was a natural thing," the PDP said. "Opposition parties should not politicize the issue of inter-Korean relations."
The Justice Party urged the National Assembly to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration at an early date.
Source: Yonhap News Agency