An invitation to lawmakers at the National Assembly.
President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff Im Jong-seok, who's also the head of the summit preparation committee, has asked nine people from the legislature to join the President on his trip to Pyeongyang next week.
Those nine include the parliamentary speaker and the heads of all five political parties -- as well as representative Kang Seok-ho of the main opposition party, who serves as chairman of the committee on foreign affairs and unification.
"Until now, the administration has been at the center of inter-Korean exchanges,… but many have suggested that those be made more stabile by including parliament. Plus, all five party leaders have shown a great deal of interest in and determination for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Though the invitation might be a political burden for the legislators,… or could even conflict with their schedules,… Im said he sincerely asks them to join for a greater cause,… because the Pyeongyang summit comes at a critical time for denuclearization -- opening up a new chapter for the Koreas.
But at this point, the parties remain sharply divided.
The ruling Democratic Party, the minor opposition Party for Democracy and Peace and the minor progressive Justice Party wasted no time in welcoming the invitation.
On the other hand, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party voted against the trip.
The National Assembly speaker and his deputy also rejected it, reasoning that they should focus on parliamentary affairs.
Such a rift, however, was somewhat expected, since the parties had only just failed to agree on ratifying the Panmunjom Declaration,… the deal struck by the leaders of the two Koreas during their first summit in April.
"Regardless, the government still plans to submit a bill on ratifying the deal to Parliament on Tuesday.
And as for who else is going to Pyeongyang for the summit, the head of the preparatory committee said both Koreas have agreed to cap the size of the South Korean delegation at about 200 people.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News."