29 September 2017

News Story: Moon, party leaders condemn N.K. nuke, missile provocations

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of major parties issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning North Korea's provocations and calling for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff.

In a show of bipartisanship, they announced a five-point agreement after their meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, also reaffirming they would not let another armed conflict occur on the Korean Peninsula.

The talks, the third of their kind, came amid heightened tensions caused by Pyongyang's sixth and most powerful nuke test on Sept. 3 and a series of ballistic missile launches.

"(We) strongly condemn North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations that threaten peace and stability," reads the joint statement adopted after the dinner gathering that lasted two hours and 15 minutes.

"We urge the North to immediately halt provocations and come forward onto a path towards peace and denuclearization," it added. The statement was announced by their spokespersons.

The meeting was attended by Choo Mi-ae, Ahn Cheol-soo, Joo Ho-young and Lee Jung-mi, who represented the ruling Democratic Party, People's Party, Bareun Party and Justice Party, respectively. The leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party refused to attend, saying he does not want to serve as "background for a political show."

During the talks, the leaders also agreed to work together to faithfully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions against the North, strengthen the South Korea-U.S. alliance and bolster deterrence capabilities by enhancing the credibility of America's extended deterrence.

Extended deterrence refers to the stated U.S. commitment to defend its ally by mobilizing all military capabilities, nuclear and conventional, against the North's aggression and provocations.

Such a commitment was called into question amid Pyongyang's beefed-up push to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. Some argue Washington may dither on defending its Asian ally under attack as its military action could put its own territory at risk.

Read the full story at YonhapNews