Main opposition party pushes for unification minister’s dismissal

SEOUL, The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) said Thursday it will push for the dismissal of Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon for his decision to exclude a North Korean defector-turned-reporter from covering the recent inter-Korean talks.

The conservative party floated the idea amid an outcry from North Korean defectors and other journalists, which voiced concerns over its violation of freedom of the press and discrimination against defectors in the workplace.

"We've generally agreed that we need to recommend Minister Cho's dismissal," Rep. Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the LKP, said at a meeting with party lawmakers. "We're going to finalize (the decision) through a general meeting of lawmakers and take necessary steps."

The decision came as the LKP has raised its rebuke against the government over President Moon Jae-in's recent ratification of inter-Korean summit agreements.

On Tuesday, Moon ratified his September summit agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and an inter-Korean military deal prior to parliamentary approval of the April inter-Korean summit deal.

The LKP denounced Moon's move as an "unconstitutional" act that skipped the process to seek parliamentary consent.

Last month, the government submitted a motion to seek parliamentary consent for ratifying the Panmunjom Declaration clinched in April. But the National Assembly has yet to begin deliberation on it amid parties' wrangling.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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