Cabinet approves inter-Korean summit deal before Moon ratifies it

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging peace agreement reached with North Korea at last month's third summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a procedural step necessary for Moon to sign and ratify the deal.

The move came after the Ministry of Government Legislation concluded that the Pyongyang Joint Declaration does not need parliamentary consent for ratification because an earlier, overarching agreement, the Panmunjom Declaration reached at April's first summit between Moon and Kim, is going through a parliamentary ratification process.

The ministry's point is that last month's Pyongyang Declaration is designed to carry out April's Panmunjom Declaration, and parliamentary ratification of the broader agreement would cover all subsidiary agreements.

The Cabinet also approved a separate military agreement reached at last month's summit.

Now that the two agreements have passed through a Cabinet meeting, Moon plans to sign and ratify them soon.

April's Panmunjom Declaration contains a series of broad agreements to halt "all hostile acts" against each other, explore ways to enhance cross-border exchanges and pursue the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Pyongyang Joint Declaration fleshed out the April deal and calls for a series of wide-ranging economic and humanitarian cooperation projects and exchanges between the two sides. It also contains the North's commitment to take specific steps toward denuclearization.

The military agreement calls for ceasing all hostile acts against each other so as to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes, such as suspending all military exercises near the land and sea borders between the two sides.

The government has submitted a motion asking for parliamentary ratification of the April agreement. But opposition parties have been negative about the request, claiming there is no exact cost estimate necessary to carry out the agreement.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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