SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party called Saturday for bipartisan cooperation in coping with North Korean provocations, as the opposition bloc intensified its offensive against the government's "dovish" policy towards the communist state.
The call came shortly after Pyongyang's state media confirmed that it fired off a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile Friday while reaffirming that the North will not back down in the face of international sanctions and pressure.
The North's latest provocation drew sharp international condemnation. It followed the adoption this week of a new U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution to punish the North's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.
"Rather than seeking to politically use the security crisis, the opposition parties should join hands with the ruling party and pursue bipartisan cooperation," party spokesman Kang Hoon-sik told reporters.
Kang also rebuffed opposition calls for Seoul to explore tit-for-tat nuclear options such as the redeployment of U.S. tactical nukes that were withdrawn from the Korean Peninsula in the early 1990s.
"The logic that nukes can be countered with nukes would have the peninsula face a greater danger, and give greater concerns to the citizens," he said. "If the political circles exploit national security based on partisan politics, this would trigger searing public criticism."
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