Seoul to seek parliamentary ratification of inter-Korean summit agreement

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government will seek to secure the National Assembly's support for the inter-Korean agreement on rapprochement and cooperation reached at the countries' leaders' summit in April, an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.

The government plans to submit a bill Tuesday on the ratification of the Panmunjom Declaration signed by President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in their first summit on April 27, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.

A Cheong Wa Dae official earlier said the bill will first be reviewed in a Cabinet meeting slated for Tuesday.

The move comes ahead of Moon's third bilateral summit with Kim, which is set to take place in Pyongyang from Sept. 18-20. The two leaders held their second meeting on May 26 in the border village of Panmunjom, which was also the venue for their first summit.

In the Panmunjom Declaration, Moon and Kim agreed to end the countries' hostility against each other, saying there must never be another war on the Korean Peninsula.

The divided Koreas technically remain at war as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The summit agreement also calls for efforts to formally end the 1950-53 war before the year's end.

Parliamentary speaker Moon Hee-sang earlier called for the ratification of the April summit deal prior to the president's trip to Pyongyang this month to support his peace initiative.

President Moon hopes to make inter-Korean summit agreements survive government changes through parliamentary ratification. The summit agreements in 2000 and 2007 failed to be ratified, which led their implementation to fizzle out under conservative governments.

The ruling Democratic Party has strongly called for bipartisan cooperation in approving the summit deal.

The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party expressed its willingness to cooperate on Thursday, though the third-largest party preferred the adoption of a resolution to buttress the agreement as a realistic option prior to ratification.

But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party is opposing the move, citing a lack of progress in North Korea's denuclearization.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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