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South Korea's Moon ratifies agreement with Kim despite backlash

SEOUL, South Korea-South Korea's Liberal President on Tuesday formally confirmed his latest reconciliation business with North Korean leader Kim Jong…

SEOUL, South Korea-South Korea’s Liberal President on Tuesday formally confirmed his latest reconciliation business with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who triggered immediate backlash from conservatives, calling him “supreme” and “submissive” in the north.

Some experts say that the movement of the President Jae-ins is largely symbolic, but others say it shows its willingness to perform September trade despite increasing skepticism as to whether his engagement policy will eventually lead to North Korea’s nuclear weapons disarmament.

The moon ratified the deal Tuesday afternoon, hours after his cabinet approved them during an ordinary meeting, his office said in a statement.

Back-to-back approvals came without prior parliamentary approval. In South Korea, a president is permitted by law to ratify certain agreements with North Korea without the consent of legislators.

At the beginning of the Cabinet meeting, Moon said in television reports that ratification would help further improve relations with North Korea and accelerate global efforts to achieve “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.

The main conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party criticized Month’s action and said that the agreements would only undermine national security and wreck the taxpayer’s money.

“We regret the fact that the Moon Jae government is weighed against its subordinate North Korea policy and is consistently autonomous and lacking communication” with Parliament, Party Representative Yoon Young Seok said.

The moon, which took office last year, said that greater reconciliation with North Korea would help solve the international revelation of the north’s nuclear ambitions. Moon has met Kim three times this year and he shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to help arrange a series of loud talks between the countries, including a June summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore.

Since he began nuclear talks earlier this year, Kim has taken steps to dismantle his nuclear test site and release American prisoners. The United States responded by suspending some of its annual military exercises with South Korea but unwilling to give major political or economic benefits to the north unless the country takes significant disarmament steps.

The month of September’s dealings with Kim was largely associated with the wider agreements reached during their first summit in April. Under the recent agreements, the two Koreans will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on a project to reconnect cross-border railways and roads and drive resumed displaced economic cooperation projects. The two sides also agreed to disarm their shared border swap, establish buffer zones along the border and withdraw some of their front protection posts.

The moon has previously pushed for parliamentary approval at the April agreements. But conservative legislators opposed saying that the offerings that had Kim’s vague commitment to nuclear power would only help the Nordic countries to buy time and prefect weapons systems for international sanctions.

Tuesday’s ratification follows a disputed verdict by the Ministry of Government of the Month, which allowed him to skip Parliament’s approval of North Korea’s agreements before ratifying.

According to the Ministry, Moon can unilaterally ratify the agreements because they are largely intended to implement the previous April agreements as it stands for obtaining parliamentary approval. It also referred to a law clause that a president can ratify agreements with North Korea without the approval of the legislature if they do not cause unspecified “significant” financial burdens to the public or require related legislation.

The opposition party disagreed, saying that inter-Korean projects as set out in the September agreement would require “huge” taxpayers money. It also said that the mutual reciprocal reductions of conventional military forces would weaken the South’s preparedness for war and its alliance with the United States, as the nuclear power of the north remains intact.

The moon knows how important the public support is for his North Korea takeover. Most of the detention projects mentioned in the Summit are about Kim, what his liberal predecessor had pursued during a “Sunshine Era” from 1

998-2008. These projects were stalled after conservatives took power in South Korea. The moon can now not unilaterally revive these projects because of US-led international sanctions.

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