The ruling Democratic Party and government on Tuesday agreed on the need for sanctions and pressure to rein in an increasingly provocative North Korea, calling its latest nuclear test a "grave provocation on a level different from the past."
They, however, reiterated the importance of a peaceful resolution to the decadeslong military standoff that escalated after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday.
|Back Hye-ryun, the spokeswoman of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a press conference at the National Assembly in Seoul in August. (Yonhap)|
"(The party and government) shared the view that now, we need sanctions and pressure, but affirmed the importance of a peaceful resolution to fundamentally reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula," Back Hye-ryun, the party spokeswoman, told reporters.
Senior officials from the party, government and presidential office Cheong Wa Dae held an emergency policy coordination meeting at the prime minister's residence in Seoul to discuss the security crisis triggered by Pyongyang's latest provocation.
The meeting was arranged amid growing calls for the Moon Jae-in government to rethink its policy approach that aims to denuclearize the communist regime through a delicate mixture of sanctions and dialogue. Conservative parties have dismissed the policy as tenuous.
Back also said that the ruling camp agreed to make "multifaceted" efforts to have the North take a "different" choice rather than its nuclear and missile programs, and realize that a brighter future would lie ahead should it make the "right" choice.
The spokeswoman, in addition, said that the party and government hailed the agreement between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump to lift the payload weight limit on Seoul's development of ballistic missiles, as a "very crucial" agreement for deterrence against the North.
The bilateral agreement currently bans Seoul from developing ballistic missiles with a range of over 800 kilometers and a payload exceeding 500 kilograms. South Korea has been seeking to revise it to produce more powerful missiles.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on the security issue, while stressing the need to promote bipartisan cooperation in tackling the nuclear conundrum, Back said. (Yonhap)