31 July 2017

News Story: Parties divided over Moon's countermeasures against N.Korean ICBM test

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) -- On the liberal Moon Jae-in government's countermeasures against the latest North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test, the ruling party voiced its consent, but opposition parties called for tougher ones, criticizing the president's Berlin peace initiative that puts more weight on dialogue with the North than pressure on it.

In an emergency National Security Council meeting convened right after the North's new ICBM test Friday night, Moon proposed a set of countermeasures, including the temporary deployment of four additional THAAD interceptor launchers, and ordered consultation with the United States on ways to bolster strategic deterrence against the recalcitrant North. The presidential office said later that the provisional deployment does not mean the retraction of a declared environmental impact assessment on the deployment site.

At present, two THAAD launchers are in operation at a former golf course in Seongju, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, with four others stored at a nearby U.S. military base due to local residents' opposition.

"We understand the (provisional deployment) this time as the security on the Korean Peninsula, as well as in Northeast Asia, has become very serious due to the North's ballistic missile launch," said Rep. Woo Won-shik, the floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party.

The full-dressed deployment of the THAAD launchers, however, should be prudently examined after the environmental assessment is done as planned, Woo said in a complete agreement with the stance of the presidential office.

Opposition parties reprimanded Moon's dialogue-oriented North Korea policy in unison.

Read the full story at YonhapNews