Political parties express strong regret over N. Korea's destruction of liaison office
SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean political parties expressed strong regrets Tuesday after North Korea blew up a liaison office at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
The ruling Democratic Party said in a statement after a emergency meeting of party members that the provocation seriously endangered cross-border relations and could be an obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Rep. Kang Hoon-sik, the liberal party's chief spokesperson, said the matter is being viewed as a grave development. He said the party is working closely with the government to respond firmly to such provocations.
"The government must be prepared for any future provocative acts by the North that threaten lives of South Korea and be ready for all eventualities," the lawmaker said.
The main opposition United Future Party convened a meeting after news broke of North Korea's actions and criticized the incumbent Moon Jae-in administration.
Rep, Han Ki-ho said that there is a risk that Pyongyang may further escalate the situation. He warned that in the event of North Korean action resulting in the death of South Koreans, Moon needs to be ready to give up his post as commander in chief.
Other conservative lawmakers, who have been skeptical of the government conciliatory policies towards the North, claimed that Seoul need to scrap the Sept. 19 agreement reached between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2018. The pact calls for broad easing of tensions and closer ties.
Some argued that the latest action effectively showed that the government's North Korea policy has failed to make progress and there is a need to rethink how the country approaches the North.
The progressive Justice Party also censured the North's action as being reckless and that taken together with recent threats issued by Pyongyang over the sending of propaganda leaflets by South Korean activists, must be considered a grievous move.
Kim Jong-chul, the party's spokesman said that the latest action could cause the country to become even more isolated from the global community.
"We urge the North to make rational decisions and halt all actions that can escalate tensions," he said.
The centrist People's Party warned that the latest act can be seen as an illogical move that indicates the country will likely rejects compromise and dialogue in the future.
"The government needs to decide if it will maintain its current policy of accommodation, despite such provocation, or if it is willing to approach this matter differently," it said.
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