Main opposition cautions against ‘rosy’ expectations about U.S.-N.K. summit
SEOUL, The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) on Monday voiced concerns about what it views as unsubstantiated optimism over the planned U.S.-North Korea summit, pointing to the "impulsive" nature of policy decisions by the leaders of the two countries.
In a surprise development last week, U.S. President Donald Trump accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's offer for talks, saying he will meet him by May to achieve "permanent denuclearization."
South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed the summit as a "historic milestone" in the efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The two Koreas have also agreed to hold what will be the third inter-Korean summit late next month.
"There still exists unpredictability given that in a certain sense, it seems that (the agreement for their summit) was made based on spontaneous and impulsive decisions between the leaders," Kim Sung-tae, the floor leader of the party, said during a party meeting.
"The (Seoul) government has to carefully manage the situation rather than messing it up with rosy optimism," he added.
The agreement for the Trump-Kim summit met with a measure of skepticism, largely from conservatives. Critics have taken issue with Pyongyang's possible ulterior motives, such as weakening global sanctions and seeking a peace treaty, which may come together with the North demand for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the South and breakup of the South Korea-U.S. security alliance.
Meanwhile, the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party urged the Seoul government to ensure that during its talks with Pyongyang, Washington will push for three key objectives: the complete denuclearization of the North, a solid South Korea-U.S. alliance and continued sanctions and pressure against the communist state.
Brushing aside the opposition parties' concerns, the ruling Democratic Party called for bipartisan cooperation in preparing for both the planned inter-Korean summit and the talks between Trump and Kim.
"The cynical attitude among (ruling and opposition parties) does not help the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at all," Choo Mi-ae, the ruling party's leader, said during a party meeting.
Choo proposed establishing a special in-house panel to support the government's preparations for the summits.
"(We have reached) the entrance to the denuclearization of the peninsula, and the path to the denuclearization will be long and rough," she said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency