Rival parties' stark divergence on security is posing yet another nettlesome challenge to the South Korean government's efforts to cope with an increasingly provocative North Korea, observers said Monday.
Despite rising tension over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, the ruling Democratic Party and main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) remain divided over security policies along their partisan lines.
The liberal ruling party has espoused Seoul's policy of re-engagement with Pyongyang though diplomacy, while the conservative LKP has written it off as "too dovish and weak" and called for a tougher stance.
"The needless conservative-versus-liberal discourse that has long polarized political circles has extended to the security realm, leading each party to oppose (the other's policy) for the sake of opposition," Park Won-gon, a political science professor at Handong Global University, told Yonhap News Agency.
"Given the unique geopolitical situation of Korea and the volatile security landscape here, there is a pressing need for the ruling and opposition parties to work together beyond their pursuit of political gains," he added. (Yonhap)