Political parties still apart over how to handle Japan's trade provocation
SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- Responding to Japan's promulgation of stricter export restrictions against South Korea, ruling party lawmakers here on Wednesday called for national unity to overcome the adversity and even overtake the advanced neighbor.
In contrast, the opposition bloc urged the Moon Jae-in administration to do more to resolve the standoff at an early date.
"The Korean people are strong and the DP will overcome (it) together with the people," Rep. Lee Jae-jung, spokesperson of the governing Democratic Party (DP), said in a statement.
She reiterated Moon's earlier remarks that South Korea "won't be defeated again."
Lee said the party would endeavor to minimize the negative impact to local firms from Japan's measure to take effect late this month and help enhance their competitiveness to rely less on Japanese suppliers.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) continued verbal attacks on the liberal president, calling on him to abandon a "nonsensical illusion" involving inter-Korean economic cooperation.
On Monday, Moon stated that promoting the "peace economy" through inter-Korean economic partnerships can be a way for South Korea to catch up with Japan economically.
Rep. Jun Hee-kyung, the LKP spokesperson, said South Korea is running out of time to find a resolution for its economy.
"President Moon Jae-in should focus the government's efforts on drawing up an effective measure, instead of a nonsensical illusion like South-North economic cooperation," she said.
The conservative party has been typically critical of Moon's warm approach toward the nuclear-armed communist nation.
Some hawkish lawmakers with the DP informally floated the idea of boycotting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, saying it could deal a direct blow to the Shinzo Abe administration to correspond to Japan's export curbs, while the party's leadership voiced caution against any move that may stoke excessive anti-Japanese sentiment.
Earlier in the day, the DP's leader, Rep. Lee Hae-chan, publicly raised the need to boost local tourism to cushion the negative impact from the trade fight with Japan.
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