Assembly adopts bill condemning assault by North

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Assembly adopts bill condemning assault by North

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The National Assembly yesterday condemned North Korea’s artillery attack. Of the 271 lawmakers who participated in the vote, 261 approved the resolution, while one voted against it and nine abstained from voting. [YONHAP]

The National Assembly yesterday adopted a resolution strongly condemning North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, which killed two marines and two civilians.

Of the 271 lawmakers who participated in the session, 261 voted for the resolution, while one voted against it. Nine lawmakers abstained from voting.

The resolution called Tuesday’s attack an armed provocation in violation of the South-North Basic Framework, the 1953 armistice treaty and the Charter of the United Nations.

Lawmakers demanded that the North stop its aggression and that it issue an apology for the attack. The resolution also called for a promise from the North not to undertake similar provocations.

The lawmakers also urged the South Korean government to improve its military readiness so that it can sternly and swiftly counter any further provocations by the North. The lawmakers also encouraged diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation.

Although the resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority, it was business as usual for the ruling and opposition lawmakers, as they attacked each other over its wording.

Representative Cho Seung-soo of the New Progressive Party (New Jinbo Party) agreed to the idea that the resolution must condemn the North’s military provocation, but said “stern countermeasures ... and immediate punishment won’t help the Korean Peninsula’s peace,” urging the National Assembly to act “with reason.”

The Grand Nationals were furious over Cho’s position. “You’re a commie! Step down from the podium!” yelled GNP Representative Cho Won-jin. Others joined him, shouting, “What reason are you talking about!”

Representative Song Young-sun of the Future Hope Alliance complained that the resolution was too weak.

Of the nine who abstained, five were lawmakers of the Democratic Labor Party. Representatives Song, Yu Won-il, Jang Se-hwan and You Sung-yop also abstained. The only lawmaker who voted against the resolution was Representative Cho of the New Progressive Party.

Outside the legislative chamber, the Democratic Party attacked the Lee Myung-bak administration for its poor countermeasures.

“The Lee administration is known for its harsh North Korea policy, but its counterfire was not harsh,” said Park Jie-won, DP floor leader. “How long will this administration, full of draft-dodgers, be able to continue its security policy?”


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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