6 years ago

S. Korea's political parties divided over inter-Korean summit

Arirang News
Arirang News
The possibility of an inter-Korean summit is being met with mixed reactions from the National Assembly.
While the ruling party welcomes the move,... the conservative opposition raised concerns -- emphasizing denuclearization efforts must come first.
Kim Min-ji with more.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea welcomed North Korea's invite for summit talks,... calling it an opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations.
The party noted that while there are lingering concerns,... peace starts from dialogue.
It also expressed hope that inter-Korean summit talks could eventually lead to dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.

"If an inter-Korean summit is held,... it will go down as the biggest achievement of the PyeongChang Olympics. We have to work with greater responsibility to prepare and respond carefully to the invitation. We need to persuade our allies so that the summit talks take place with support from the international community."

The Blue House said that talks could take place should the two sides create the right conditions -- likely meaning progress on resolving a nuclear standoff and sincere efforts towards denuclearization.

However, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party was highly critical.
Using an Olympics analogy,... the party said it's North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who has won the gold medal.
The party said the string of discussions that would be needed to prepare for summit talks would only give Pyongyang more time to beef up its nuclear programs and room to get around international pressure and sanctions.
It added that talks not based on the premise of denuclearization... would be nothing more than sending a delegation to the North to celebrate its nuclear development.

"President Moon met with the sister of the North Korean leader four times during her three-day stay here. But not once did he bring up the issue of denuclearization."

The center-right Bareun Party was more or less on the same page,... saying that what the president should be doing is stepping up sanctions and maximizing pressure... while persuading the U.S. not to opt for military action.
The party stressed that without solving the nuclear issue... it would be better not to hold talks at all.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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