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Lee condemns N. Korea's missile 'provocation'

All News 17:08 January 27, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung on Thursday condemned North Korea's latest launch of suspected ballistic missiles, describing the North's weapons testing as "military provocation."

North Korea fired two apparent short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea earlier in the day in its sixth show of force this month, according to South Korea's military.

Lee told reporters he expresses "strong regret and condemnation" over the North's latest launch.

Ruling party's presidential candidate
Ruling party's presidential candidate

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a press conference in the southwestern city of Gwangju on Jan. 27, 2022, about his election pledges related to policies to develop the city and its adjacent South Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)

Lee accused the North of trying to influence South Korean politics ahead of the March 9 presidential election, saying the North's suspected missile launches have made a "very bad influence" on the election.

"Refraining from doing such a military provocation, which could affect South Korean politics, will help stabilize the Korean Peninsula," Lee told reporters.

Lee also urged North Korea to respond to efforts to resume dialogue with South Korea.

Lee's tone was stronger than the words used by the presidential National Security Council (NSC).

The NSC has stopped short of describing the North's continuing launches as a "provocation," in an apparent move to prevent upsetting Pyongyang.

Hours after North Korea's latest launch, the NSC said it was "very regrettable."

Lee, who has taken a softer line on North Korea than his main opposition rival Yoon Suk-yeol, has pledged to continue conciliatory steps toward the North if elected.


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