The chairman of the ruling Grand National Party Hong Joon-pyo has urged Korea's National Assembly to swiftly ratify the Korea-US free trade agreement.
In a radio address Wednesday, Hong stressed that through the ratification of the pact, the two countries must endeavor toward creating a synergetic relationship based on military as well as economic cooperation.
Regarding the main opposition Democratic Party's so-called "ten-plus-two" deal, he said that the revision of the latter two, which refers to establishing protection measures for local industries, is underway.
However, he expressed concern that the DP's demands for the renegotiation of the former ten items could be seen by some as pandering to "anti-America" sentiment since nine out of those ten were initially negotiated by the late DP President Roh Moo-hyun.
Hong added that the ruling party will continue to work closely with the government to build stronger protection policies for domestic industries first and then move on to swiftly ratifying the deal.
As for the relationship between the two Koreas, Hong said that because the inter-Korean business park in Gaeseong, North Korea is a crucial gateway for the two to work toward building a peaceful community, he ask the government to show flexibility when dealing with the North.
Humanitarian aid to North Korea has been cut off since May last year, following Pyeongyang's sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan which caused operational difficulties for South Korean companies based at the Gaeseong complex.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.
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