16 September 2017

News Story: Moon under pressure to harden North Korea policy in wake of missile firing

President Moon Jae-in
SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- Opposition parties stepped up calls for President Moon Jae-in to alter his "dovish" approach toward North Korea Friday after its new ballistic missile provocation further heightened tensions.

They also criticized his administration's consideration of providing humanitarian aid to the impoverished state through international agencies, saying it would hamper ongoing efforts to address Pyongyang's nuclear standoff.

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang launched a missile, which flew some 3,700 kilometers with a maximum altitude of 770 km before falling into the Pacific, Seoul's military said. The provocation came after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a fresh package of sanctions Monday to punish the North for its Sept. 3 nuclear test.

"(The missile launch) attests to the fact that we can't effectively (deter provocations) if we do not have a substantive deterrence measure," Jun Hee-kyung, spokeswoman for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said. "It is becoming evident that a moderate level of sanctions would not be able to control (the North's behavior)."

She then decried Moon's North Korea policy as tantamount to "security abandonment," escalating pressure on the president to sharpen his stance against the belligerent neighbor and explore a tit-for-tat nuclear option such as the redeployment of U.S. tactical nukes to Korea.

"Nukes can only be deterred with nukes," Jun said.

Pyongyang's repeated provocations have continued to provide political ammunition for conservative parties to attack the liberal ruling bloc that favors dialogue and diplomatic measures over military options.

Read the full story at YonhapNews