Political parties on Saturday showed mixed responses over North Korea's decision to cease its testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and close its nuclear test site ahead of summits with the South and the United States.
The liberal ruling Democratic Party (DP) welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's decision reported by the North's Korean Central News Agency. The party vowed support for the inter-Korean summit scheduled for Friday in the border truce village.
"The DP welcomes North Korea announcing the denuclearization pledge and taking real actions ahead of the inter-Korean summit," DP spokesman Park Beom-kye said in a statement. "North Korea's resolution will give a big impetus to reach an agreement for peace and co-prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."
In contrast, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) remained skeptical, saying Pyongyang's pledge falls short of the goal of "complete, verifiable, and irreversible" denuclearization.
"As North Korea already has nuclear weapons, its decision to halt additional nuclear tests is not meaningful," LKP spokesman Choung Tae-ok said in a commentary. "It is highly likely Kim Jong-un's decision is a disguise for salami tactics."
"If North Korea discards its nuclear weapons, not halting nuclear tests, and shows sincere commitment for the economic development, the LKP is also willing to help the North."
North Korea shut down the key nuclear facilities in Yongbyon complex in 2008 following six-party nuclear talks, but it resumed nuclear and missile tests over the past decade. (Yonhap)