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66% of South Koreans support ratification of inter-Korean agreement.

Almost seven out of 10 South Koreans back President Moon Jae-in's plan to seek National Assembly ratification of the latest inter-Korean agreement, dubbed the Panmunjeom Declaration, to ensure sustainability of concerned projects.

According to Realmeter's opinion survey released Thursday, 66 percent of respondents answered they are in favor of ratification. Only 22.33 percent oppose it, the poll showed.

Support for the ratification was dominant across all generations and regions, except for supporters of the largest conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP). The outcome showed 53.7 percent of LKP supporters oppose ratification. The result is notable, considering 60.6 percent of those who identified themselves as conservatives were favorable to the process.

The main opposition party has boycotted the ratification of the latest inter-Korean agreement, belittling it as a "deceptive peace show."

National Assembly ratification of the agreement has been a divisive issue between parties. Technically, the ruling camp can ratify the declaration without participation of the LKP.

According to law, the ratification vote requires over half of favorable votes among at least half of those in attendance. In the 293-member National Assembly, the 121-seat DPK can ratify it, along with cooperation of minor parties. However, attempts at excluding the LKP could undermine President Moon's efforts to form a multi-partisan consensus over the Panmunjeom Declaration.

Past inter-Korean agreements, signed by liberal presidents, failed to last under conservative administrations in the face of political disputes and fluctuations of inter-Korean ties. Not to repeat such mishaps, President Moon has repeatedly called for legislative ratification, in tandem with frequent meetings with opposition leaders.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Date:May 10, 2018
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