NATIONAL

Opposition whip calls on Moon to retool foreign, security policy

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 6, 2017 - 10:44
  • Updated : Sept 6, 2017 - 10:44
The floor leader of the minor opposition People's Party called on President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to reshape his security and foreign policies, pointing to North Korea's escalating threats and perceived friction with the United States and China.

During his parliamentary speech, Kim Dong-cheol also demanded the "complete" replacement of Moon's security staff, which critics argue lacks expertise in military strategies and tactics.

Pyongyang's sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date Sunday has deepened skepticism over Moon's policy of rapprochement, which aims to denuclearize the communist neighbor through dialogue and sanctions.

"Now is not the time to mention dialogue (with the North). ... It is a phase that calls for stern pressure and sanctions," Kim said. "President Moon Jae-in has to acknowledge his policy failures and start anew."

This photo, taken Sept. 5, 2017, shows Kim Dong-cheol, the floor leader of the minor opposition People`s Party, speaking during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Kim then proposed holding an emergency security meeting of the president and the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties.

"There is no such thing as 'again' or 'if' when it comes to security," he said.

During the speech, Kim underscored that Moon's dialogue overture had failed to prevent Pyongyang's provocations, his decision to delay the installation of a US missile defense battery had fomented distrust with Washington, and his efforts to improve ties with Beijing have yet to bear fruit.

"Citizens are fretting about (policy failures)," he lamented.

After the North's nuke test, Moon toughened his stance against the North, going as far as to float the idea of cutting oil supplies to the impoverished North as part of the new UN Security Council resolution being discussed.

Seoul's Defense Minister Song Young-moo even mentioned the possibility of the government reviewing the redeployment of US tactical nuclear arms as "one of various options" to deter Pyongyang, though the government is officially against it.

During the speech, Kim also decried Moon's income-led growth strategy, stressing that its efficacy has yet to be ideologically or empirically proven. He demanded the president craft a "balanced" strategy that aims for sustainable growth through innovation, structural reform and fair competition.

Moon's much-publicized economic formula aims to address income disparities and boost growth by creating jobs and increasing household revenue. (Yonhap)