SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- Ruling People Power Party (PPP) leader Chung Jin-suk slammed North Korea's latest missile launches Monday, claiming they were aimed at breaking up the South Korea-U.S. alliance and ousting U.S. military bases here.
Chung made the remarks a day after North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the latest in a series of launches that raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"The purpose of North Korea's provocations is clear," Chung said. "It is a strategic tactic aimed at breaking up the South Korea-U.S. alliance and ultimately driving out the U.S. Forces Korea from the Korean Peninsula through nuclear warheads and medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles."
Chung stressed the importance of a stern response, referring to Ukraine's handling of Russia's invasion.
"Ukraine has clearly demonstrated (the following) in its war with Russia," he said. "Only with a firm determination that we, as a sovereign nation, will sternly punish military provocations can we safeguard our national security."
Chung also said the North is believed to have spent about 700 billion won (US$539 million) on ballistic missile launches this year alone, saying the money is enough to feed the North Korean people for two months.
He also pledged to sternly deal with Pyongyang's additional provocations.
"The North's provocations are likely to continue for the rest of the year and the beginning of the new year, but the Yoon Suk-yeol government will maintain its unwavering deterrence against the North," he said.
Top 1 pct singers earn 4.6 bln won per person on average in 2021: data
(Asiad) S. Korea lose to N. Korea in women's football quarterfinals
(LEAD) (Asiad) PGA Tour winner Im Sung-jae in contention for 2 medals in Hangzhou
(LEAD) Traffic heavy on expressways following Chuseok
S. Korea, U.S. hold joint anti-terrorism exercise
(News Focus) Travis King's release an opportunity for rapprochement in U.S.-N. Korea ties?
DP averts crisis following court's rejection of Lee's arrest; focus shifts to unity
5 years after signing, future of inter-Korean military accord unclear
In desperation, N. Korea, Russia turn to one another for mutual assistance rivaling U.S.-S. Korea cooperation
Yoon seeks to carve out bigger role for S. Korea in Indo-Pacific, world