Liberal parties united in calling for ratification of April summit deal with N.K.

SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- The ruling and minor liberal parties on Monday made a joint call for the parliamentary ratification of the April inter-Korean summit deal that is pending amid conservative parties' objections.

The floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace and the Justice Party appealed for bipartisan cooperation in approving the summit agreement to buttress rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula.

They stressed that the two Koreas' leaders reaffirmed the peace commitment by holding a third summit in Pyongyang after they pledged efforts for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at the truce village of Panmunjom in April.

"But the National Assembly has not even started its deliberation on the Panmunjom declaration," a joint statement asserted.

"It is the time for the parliament to take action for the implementation of the April and September summit deals so as to help set the stage for peace and co-prosperity," it said.

The issuance of the joint statement was also joined by four lawmakers -- one from the Minjung Party and three affiliated with no party.

President Moon Jae-in hopes inter-Korean the summit agreements can survive government changes through parliamentary ratification. The summit agreements in 2000 and 2007 were not ratified, which caused implementation to fizzle out under succeeding conservative governments.

The ratification motion should be first passed through the committee on foreign affairs and unification before being putting for a vote at a plenary session.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and minor Bareunmirae Party make up a majority of the committee, and they occupy 142 seats in the 299-member parliament.

"The ratification of the summit deal will be not easy if the two opposition parties oppose it," Hong Young-pyo, the DP's floor leader, said.

"We will continue to persuade them to join it, as the parliamentary speaker cannot unilaterally table a proposal for a vote," he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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