North Korea on Monday strongly condemned the leftist Moon Jae-in government's move to maintain a specific presidential panel, set up by its predecessor, asserting the idea is "against public sentiment expressed by candlelight rallies."
"The incumbent South Korean authorities are raising great concerns at home and abroad as they are trying to keep intact the puppet the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, which (former President) Park Geun-hye had cooked up and exploited for impure purposes, by changing its names only," the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.
This file photo, taken on Dec. 2, 2014, shows then President Park Geun-hye presiding over the third meeting of the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. (Yonhap)
"(The committee) should be naturally dissolved," said the paper, insisting that it had harmed national reconciliation and unity and extremely intensified mistrust and confrontation between the two Korea.
In July 2014, Park launched the 50-member committee, participated in by unification-related ministers and state-run and private think tanks, saying that inter-Korean unification would be a "bonanza" for the two Koreas and a blessing for their neighbors. The North reacted angrily to the panel's launch, claiming it is intended to absorb the North under the cloak of unification.
Last Monday, an official at the newly launched Moon government indicated the possibility of keeping the panel, saying, "There come out opinions that the committee's functions and roles need to be maintained in consideration of the idea that unification should be prepared for on a long-term basis."
"The identity of the committee, which encourages confrontation between the two systems, will never be changed simply by changing its name or direction," the paper said.
The committee will continuously belch out "poison of system confrontation" as long as its basic roles remain intact, the paper said.
"The move to maintain the committee, not dismantling it, is squarely against public sentiment expressed by candlelight rallies calling for Park's impeachment in the South," it added. (Yonhap)