On 23 October, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ratified the inter-Korean summit agreement in the military sphere aimed at implementing the Pyongyang and Panmunjom Declarations. The documents were ratified without an approval from the National Assembly, since it, in the view of the presidential administration, is required when agreements contain clauses related to large expenditures or the need for legislative measures, and the Pyongyang Declaration has no terms of this nature.
South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party (DP) said they were forced to act, because the National Assembly is yet to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration, adopted at the first inter-Korean Summit of this year. However, the opposition expressed criticism of the President’s actions, as he had ratified documents without first seeking approval from the National Assembly.
As Moon Jae-in himself stated, approving the initiative will not only ensure national security but will also contribute to economic development by removing existing threats on the Korean Peninsula, create favorable living conditions for the residents of border regions and protect the rights of North Korean citizens.
In the meantime, this agreement, previously analyzed and highly rated by the author, is already being executed. As you may remember, it provides for cessation of hostilities between the two sides, eradication of the risk of war and creation of a 10-km buffer zone along the land border, with no field training exercises or gun fire permitted in it. Similar buffer zones (80 km in width) are being established in the East and Yellow Seas in order to prevent any clashes between naval forces. Above the demilitarized area, no-fly zones have been created: the use of air drones, helicopters or other aircraft is not permitted in this air space.
Demilitarization of the Joint Security Area (JSA) On 6 October, the Truce Village of Panmunjom hosted negotiations between military representatives of North and South Koreas, and of the United Nations Command. The two sides learned about the progress being made in clearing the zone of all landmines, which began on 1 October. They also exchanged views on issues related to removing checkpoints, downsizing military personnel, clearing the zone of weapons, reviewing terms and conditions for the use of video surveillance equipment and other work.
On 8 October,