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S. Korea’s ruling party chief urges peaceful solution to N.K. nuclear crisis

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s ruling party chief on Wednesday appealed for a peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis during a forum in Washington.

Choo Mi-ae of the Democratic Party said South Korea and the United States see eye to eye on the need to put more sanctions on Pyongyang but that the increased pressure should be aimed at bringing the North to the dialogue table.

“Our principle for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue must be (to seek) a peaceful solution,” she said during a talk at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

“A peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is the only solution agreed on by responsible leaders of the region, including the U.S., China, and which is supported by the international community.”

Tensions caused by the North’s nuclear and missile tests and exchanges of threats and insults with the U.S. have recently shown signs of easing, as Pyongyang has not conducted any provocations for the past two months.

Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, delivers a speech at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington on Nov. 15, 2017. (Yonhap) Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, delivers a speech at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington on Nov. 15, 2017. (Yonhap)

Choo said the potential for conflict caused by a miscalculation is large due to a complete breakdown in communication between South and North.

“As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, calls for dialogue and peace must also grow louder,” she said, “and (both sides) must refrain from even the slightest word or action that could provoke the other.”

Choo lamented what she cast as the failures of the previous conservative administrations to build on the inter-Korean trust initiated by the liberal governments of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. The current liberal government of President Moon Jae-in is determined to replant a “seedling in the forest of peace,” she said.

The Moon administration also recognizes the importance of a strong South Korea-U.S. alliance to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, according to Choo, and last week’s summit between Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed that there will be no sanctions for the sake of sanctions nor talks for the sake of talks.

“Sanctions are a concerted effort by the international community to make North Korea come to the negotiation table,” she said.

Later in the day, Choo warned that should Washington make demands that were “too unreasonable”, Seoul could not help but consider even scrapping the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA).

“I have said here that our domestic political situation wouldn’t be permissive either if the U.S. makes unreasonable claims (regarding the FTA),” Choo told reporters.

Touching on Korea’s car exports, Choo voiced her opposition to a possible U.S. demand that auto parts be procured from within the U.S.

Seoul is taking domestic procedures ahead of formal negotiations to amend the five-year-old trade deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump called “quite unsuccessful and not very good for the U.S.” last week. Washington blames it for America’s growing deficit in goods trade with Korea despite its surplus in the services sector.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/11/16/0200000000AEN20171116000251315.html

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November 16, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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