Political parties on Wednesday reacted to the Pyongyang Declaration along partisan lines. Liberal parties welcomed the joint declaration, while conservative opposition parties denounced the joint statement, pointing out that it shows no progress from previous agreements.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea praised the declaration announced by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, saying it has opened the way for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“President Moon and North Korean leader Kim have come up with details on many cooperative plans in diverse fields for the development of inter-Korean relations,” said Rep. Lee Jae-jung, senior spokeswoman for the ruling party, during a press conference at the National Assembly.
“It is also very meaningful that the two leaders officially announced that Kim will visit Seoul, as it would be the very first visit by a North Korean leader to the South.”
The center-left opposition Party for Democracy and Peace described the declaration as meaningful, as it included detailed plans to end military hostilities. The progressive Justice Party also welcomed the declaration, and called on the United States to respond to the efforts of the two Koreas.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party, on the other hand, criticized the declaration for lacking details.
“The core of North Korea’s denuclearization does not lie with dismantling the Dongchang-ri missile engine testing facility. Its statement on permanent dismantlement of the facilities in Yongbyun is also not satisfactory as it is contingent upon corresponding measures by the US,” said Yoon Young-seok, spokesman of the conservative party.
Regarding agreements related to economic cooperation, the conservative party said that hasty promises of economic exchanges might violate UN sanctions on the North. It emphasized that economic cooperation should proceed in line with the easing of military tension.
The center-right opposition Bareunmirae Party also expressed disappointment, pointing out that the summit failed to draw the result that the international community wanted -- an inventory of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and nuclear inspections.
The party also warned that detailed plans for inter-Korean economic cooperation might give the international community the impression that the Moon administration is willing to violate international sanctions imposed on the communist regime.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)