Main opposition party says now is not time to ratify April summit deal

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 5, 2018 - 10:45
  • Updated : Sept 5, 2018 - 10:45

The floor leader of the main opposition party said Wednesday that now is not the time to push for parliamentary ratification of the April inter-Korean summit deal, citing a lack of North Korea's sincerity toward denuclearization.

Kim Sung-tae of the Liberty Korea Party delivered a speech at the National Assembly, which began its 100-day regular session Monday.

"We need to gauge North Korea's sincerity toward denuclearization from a cool-headed perspective, not with an emotional approach," Kim said. "In this context, I don't see the parliamentary ratification of the April summit deal to be proper."

Kim Sung-tae of the Liberty Korea Party delivers a speech at the National Assembly, which began its 100-day regular session Monday. (Yonhap)

Earlier in the day, President Moon Jae-in's special envoy flew to Pyongyang to fine-tune details about a proposed third inter-Korean summit this month and move forward stalled talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea.

Parliamentary speaker Moon Hee-sang earlier raised the need to ratify the so-called Panmunjom Declaration prior to President Moon's trip to Pyongyang for the summit this month to support his peace initiative.

President Moon hopes to make inter-Korean summit agreements survive government changes through parliamentary ratification.

Kim of the LKP warned that what's urgent is to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons via international coordination, not to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

"I would like to stress that an original purpose of an inter-Korean summit is North Korea's denuclearization," he said.

Touching on the economy, Kim denounced Moon's signature policy of "income-driven growth," vowing efforts to deter what his party called a fiscal spending binge.

The government is preaching for the policy that calls for hiking wages and supporting low-income people, thereby increasing domestic consumption. But recent data point to deteriorating job markets and the slowing economy, inviting opposition parties' condemnation.

Kim derisively called the policy a "red carpet leading to Venezuela," pointing to the country mired in an economic crisis due to policy failure.

"The income-driven growth can be called growth spurred by excessive spending of taxpayers' money," he said. "The government should admit its policy failure and shift its economic policy." (Yonhap)