Moon to meet party leaders to discuss nuclear crisis

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Moon to meet party leaders to discuss nuclear crisis

President Moon Jae-in will hold a special meeting with the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties this week to discuss bipartisan efforts to end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, an official from the presidential office Blue House said Tuesday.

The meeting will be held over dinner Wednesday and will involve the leaders of the ruling Democratic Party and three opposition parties, according to Jun Byung-hun, Moon’s top secretary for political affairs.

Hong Joon-pyo, the head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), has refused to attend the meeting, Jun said.

The standard-bearer of the former ruling party in the latest presidential election earlier hinted at his plan to boycott the rare meeting with the president, accusing the latter of only trying to put on a public display.

Jun said the meeting will focus on security issues.

“Considering the serious security condition, the sides have agreed to focus their discussions on security issues,” he said in a press briefing.

North Korea conducted its sixth and apparently most powerful nuclear test so far on Sept. 3. The communist state has also staged 10 missile provocations since the Moon Jae-in administration took office in May with at least two of them involving intermediate- or long-range ballistic missiles.

Moon’s proposal to meet with ruling and opposition party leaders also follows his trip to the United Nations General Assembly last week, where he called for international efforts to put maximum pressure on the reclusive North so the country will have no choice but to come to the dialogue table to discuss its voluntary and complete nuclear dismantlement.

The three opposition parties that have agreed to attend this week’s meeting with Moon are the splinter Bareun Party, the liberal People’s Party and the progressive Justice Party.

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