Posted September. 13, 2017 08:11,
Updated September. 13, 2017 08:54
Regarding the new U.N. sanctions against North Korea passed on Monday (local time), the South Korean presidential office said on Tuesday, “The only way for North Korea to get out of diplomatic isolation and economic pressure is to come to a dialogue table to discuss abandoning nuclear weapons in a complete, irreversible and verifiable manner. The intention is that it will apply maximum pressure and engagement until the North declares it would give up on its nuclear weapons. While the presidential office said, “We highly appreciate the unanimous adoption of the resolution with China and Russia,” it expressed regrets that the original proposal was watered down. It is a strong message that is different from what President Moon Jae-in said in his Liberation Day speech in August – no war and a nuclear freeze.
It is reassuring, albeit late, that President Moon appears to have changed his stance from appeasement at a time when North Korea basically crossed the “red line.” President Moon agreed with the U.S. to lift a warhead weight limit and sought for cooperation on an oil embargo in the draft U.N. proposal during the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Above all, the Moon administration deployed the THAAD anti-missile defense system, which it had opposed.
However, supporters are criticizing the move. Former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun who served as the chairman of the “Committee of the Power of a Decade,” a presidential camp's advisory group, said in a radio interview on Tuesday, “President Moon is becoming like Japanese Prime Minister Abe trying to curry favor with U.S. President Trump.” He criticized the president by saying, “I selected Moon Jae-in as president but the namesake person is ruling this country.” Civic groups such as People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, the Korean Confederation of Trade Union and the Alliance of Religions’ Peace said, “The president of the people is doing the same thing of former President Park Geun-hye who was kicked out for doing deep-rooted evil.” It is an insult for the head of the state, rather than a different perception about security.
President Moon Jae-in mentioned the “gravity of security” three times and clarified that “it is the best action that we can take for now” last Friday as he was aware of the backlash from his supporters. Rep. Kim Gyeong-soo of the ruling Minjoo Party of Korea, who is known for being a confidant of President Moon, posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, “I would like to ask you to think again about why the president took such actions,” quoting an article of a weekly magazine that made an analysis on why President Moon is caring so much about the U.S. The primary obligation of the commander in chief of a country is to protect the people’s lives and security. It is natural that the president should encourage changes in the North with a strong response and think about changing the North Korea policy at a time when the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons is discussed to handle Kim Jong Un who believes nuclear weapons are the only tool for unification led by the North. Nothing should catch up with the president irresponsibly.