South Korean president ratifies agreement with North without parliament approval

by WorldTribune Staff, October 23, 2018

Liberal President Moon Jae-In ratified last month’s summit agreement with North Korea without the consent of parliament, ignoring protests from Conservative opposition parties and concerns registered by the Trump administration.

Dissenting media and political expression is being suppressed by the government in Seoul, according to reports in last week’s edition of

South Korean President Moon Jae-In

Yonhap news agency reported on Oct. 23 that Moon’s administration ratified the Pyongyang Joint Declaration on its own after the Ministry of Government Legislation concluded that parliamentary consent was not necessary.

“The ministry’s point was 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 Yonhap report said.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) protested Moon’s solo ratification of the agreement.

“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),” Kim Sung-Tae, the floor leader of the LKP, said.

“The government is calling on opposition parties to cooperate, but in reality, it ignores the people and the National Assembly,” he added.

Related: Pro-North subterfuge at highest levels in Seoul unreported by suppressed media, October 16, 2018

April’s Panmunjom Declaration contains a series of broad agreements for South and North Korea 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 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 Yonhap report said. reported on Oct. 16 that “Since the impeachment, ouster and imprisonment of anti-communist President Park Geun-Hye in 2017, the government of President Moon Jae-In and teams of aggressive prosecutors in Seoul have cracked down on conservative opposition and media. Even foreign journalists based in Seoul have been reluctant to report on the new, authoritarian, pro-North Korea climate in the capital city of the key U.S. ally in Northeast Asia.”

Lawrence Peck, a leading expert on pro-North Korea activities in the U.S., told Gatestone Institute that “An American expert recently visiting [South] Korea was warned by a state-funded media outlet to avoid any remarks critical of Moon’s approach to North Korea.”

Conservative voices in the South, Peck says, are being “persecuted, censored, fired, prosecuted, pressured, or otherwise retaliated against or harassed.”

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