NATIONAL

Opposition party calls for closer NK policy coordination with US

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 7, 2017 - 11:45
  • Updated : Aug 7, 2017 - 11:45
The leader of the minor opposition People's Party called Monday for closer policy coordination with the United States on how to deal with North Korea, claiming Washington is increasingly bypassing Seoul in its handling of Pyongyang.

Rep. Park Joo-sun, the party's interim leader, made the appeal during a party meeting, noting that while South Korean President Moon Jae-in was on vacation, the US led the UN Security Council to approve a package of fresh sanctions on the North and that US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster spoke about a "preventive war" with the communist nation.

Park's claim was that such US actions and words came without much consultations with Seoul. But officials of the government reject such claims, saying Seoul and Washington have been talking to each other on a daily basis. 

(Yonhap)

Last week, opposition parties urged Moon to cut his vacation short to take care of the rising tensions with the North. But presidential officials rejected the demand, saying the policy coordination between the two allies has been as close as ever.

Experts and politicians have increasingly expressed concern about South Korea losing its voice in Korean Peninsula issues, a phenomenon that local media have dubbed the "Korea passing," which refers to the situation where the US bypasses Seoul and makes important decisions on its own.

"We're in a situation where the Korea passing is deepening," Park said. "The Moon Jae-in government should come up with a new approach to North Korea that can win the mind of the United States."

Park also stressed that strengthening cooperation with the US is the best way for the South to take the initiative in dealing with Korean Peninsula issues. He also said that the South should stop wavering between the US and China over the issue of the deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system.

"The government should put together a grand master plan for security in Northeast Asia with a new approach to North Korea, rather than repeating the outdated call for simultaneously seeking sanctions and dialogue (with the North)," Park said. (Yonhap)