With backing from his ruling party, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has moved to ratify a series of recent agreements made with North Korea. The deals did not require a parliamentary vote, as they were extensions of the initial deal to reduce tensions back in April.
Among the items ratified were the decision unveiled yesterday to totally demilitarize the Panmunjom truce village, leaving only 70 troops there, none of them armed. He also authorized a ceremony to celebrate the re-connection of road and rail links.
These agreements were reached in direct negotiations over the past two weeks, underscoring that even meetings without top leadership from either side present can yield important results.
President Moon has been deeply committed to the peace process with North Korea since election, though this has often led to criticism from opposition parties who are more comfortable with the status quo. They criticized the ratification but were ultimately unable to prevent them.