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Lee says Moon gov't should be clear, firm with N. Korea

Politics 17:11 January 20, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung said Thursday the Moon Jae-in government should be clear and firm with North Korea to prevent potential miscalculations on Pyongyang's part.

Lee of the liberal Democratic Party issued the call on Facebook, hours after the North hinted at resuming nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests. He also expressed "strong regret" over the North's threat and urged the regime to halt all actions that could make the situation worse.

"I ask our government to be clear and firm so that North Korea does not miscalculate the situation and make the wrong move," he wrote. "At the same time, make continued efforts for dialogue for the easing of tensions and denuclearization."

Lee described the North's recent series of short-range missile tests as "provocations," using a word the Moon administration has been accused of avoiding to prevent upsetting Pyongyang.

Lee called on the United States, North Korea and other concerned parties to immediately restart denuclearization talks and come up with practical and mutually acceptable solutions.

Speaking to reporters after a virtual talk with prominent American investor Jim Rogers, he also reiterated his belief in the need to use both sanctions and dialogue to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

The main opposition People Power Party, meanwhile, issued a statement blaming the Moon administration for bringing the situation with North Korea to this point.

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a virtual talk with American investor Jim Rogers from an event hall in eastern Seoul on Jan. 20, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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