SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- The leader of South Korea's main opposition party on Wednesday urged President Moon Jae-in to change policies that he blamed for the economic and diplomatic predicaments faced by the nation.
Hwang Kyo-ahn, chairman of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, issued a rare public statement on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day, which commemorates the nation's independence from Japan's colonial rule in 1945.
"President Moon Jae-in and the government are leading the Republic of Korea in the wrong way," Hwang read from his statement at the National Assembly.
"I and my party will stake everything on the fight to achieve a grand transformation of state affairs."
He assailed Moon's policy of engaging with North Korea, saying it would end up with South Koreans becoming nuclear hostages.
"The most important prerequisite for peace on the Korean Peninsula is the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons. We must not be a clumsy mediator," he said referring to Moon's role in brokering the meetings between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Hwang laid out his own vision for reunification, in which North Koreans would be free from "tyranny" and the South's system of liberal democracy would be extended to them.
He also reiterated the party's opposition to Moon's income-driven growth initiative, universal welfare measures, tighter controls on conglomerates and property markets and other inclusive economic and social policies.
"This administration's policy of income-led growth is wrong from the start. I and my party will definitely correct the anti-market and anti-business policies such as excessive hikes of the minimum wage and the mandatory reduction of working hours."
Hwang pledged the party will fully cooperate with the government if it reverses its policy line on the principles of free markets, the rule of law and the goal of North Korea's denuclearization.
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