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The Uri Party’s stance on the North’s nuclear test is deplorable. It is inconsistent and far from the international situation. Chairman Kim Geun-tae is leading this wrong response.
The party was not like this right after the North’s test. Mr. Kim condemned the act that the North and emphasized a joint response with international society. He signaled stern sanctions against the North and drastic changes in the party’s North Korea policy.
But things are changing as time goes by. Even the president talked about a re-examination of his detente policy, and the prime minister admitted that such a policy failed to prevent nuclear work in the North.
But senior party members and a considerable number of other members insist that its North Korea policy remain unchanged and that business at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and tourism at Mount Kumgang be continued. Fifteen Uri Party National Assembly members held a press conference to make these points.
Former Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae said dialogue was the only way. In a plenary session of the National Assembly and at a standing committee, Uri legislators opposed sanctions on the North. A Uri lawmaker who was once a presidential secretary even quoted what a North Korean official said: “The North’s nuclear test was not aimed at the South.”
Putting a brake on government measures on North Korea, Mr. Kim has been trying to narrow differences in opinion between the party and the administration. He opposed the government’s joining the Proliferation Security Initiative, in which 60 countries including the United States are trying to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
The ruling party must serve as a pillar, particularly in an emergency. As the North Korea policy here proved to be a failure, the party should search for an alternative and lead the country to work with international society.
But the ruling party is watching the incident idly and presenting an unreasonable solution, destroying order in our society.
Why is Uri doing so? Probably because they do not think of national security as the most important thing, but instead have political calculations to pander to Koreans who love the “policy of embrace,” including supporters of former President Kim Dae-jung. The Uri Party should repent of its wrongdoings over the incident of the North’s nuclear test and should look at a “somewhat different world.”
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