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Conservative bigwig questions Moon's national security stance

All News 14:40 January 02, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Yoo Seong-min, a leading defector from the ruling Saenuri Party, on Monday demanded Moon Jae-in, a liberal presidential front-runner, clarify his stance on national security issues, citing widespread public anxiety about his views on North Korea and the Seoul-Washington alliance.

Yoo is one of 30 lawmakers who left Saenuri to launch a new party, tentatively named the New Conservative Party for Reform, this month.

"If (Moon) is to become a presidential candidate, he needs to deliver clear opinions on the inter-Korean military issues, such as the Korea-U.S. alliance and the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system," Yoo said during an interview with CBS Radio.

"Many people are concerned about his stance on national security," said Yoo, one of the potential presidential candidates representing the conservative bloc.

"Moon virtually opposed THAAD. I am concerned on how he thinks of the North, especially as he said that he would visit Pyongyang before Washington if elected president," he said.

Yoo also mentioned that Moon, as presidential chief of staff, proposed soliciting Pyongyang's opinion when the South was mulling whether to vote on a U.N. resolution on the North's human rights records in 2007.

Regarding former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who currently leads polls among conservative hopefuls, Yoo said his ethical and policy qualifications need to be verified.

Yoo said his planned new party is still open to Ban, if he shares the same vision of the conservative politicians.

According to a survey conducted last week by Yonhap News Agency and KBS, South Korea's top newswire and broadcaster, respectively, Moon posted an approval rating of 21.6 percent, trailed by Ban with 17.2 percent. Yoo received 1.7 percent.

Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the planned New Conservative Party for Reform (Yonhap)


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