|Rep. Na Kyung-won, second from right, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly, Monday. / Korea Times photo by Oh Dae-geun|
By Park Ji-won
The opposition parties have accused the Moon Jae-in government of diplomatic failure after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's speech urging Moon to stop playing a "facilitator" role in denuclearization talks. The parties called on the presidential office to replace its diplomatic line-up.
Citing Kim's speech during the 14th Supreme People's Assembly last week that urged Moon to "stop playing a nosy mediator or facilitator and become the one who protects the nation's interest," Rep. Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) criticized the government's North Korea policy.
"North Korea is threatening and ignoring the South Korean government after the failure of the North -U.S. summit," Na said. "A failed North Korea policy is hurting South Korean's pride."
Na asked Moon to replace key people in diplomatic and security affairs posts and to send the right person as a special envoy to North Korea so to show a strong determination toward denuclearization and pressure on the North. Na also criticized Kim. Saying, "What Kim said is insulting to the opposition parties as well."
Her remarks came after the North Korean leader urged Seoul to take a more active role by voicing its own opinions on improving inter-Korean relations. During Pyongyang's key parliamentary session, Kim was also given a new title, "Supreme Representative of all the Korean People." The LKP has been criticizing the government for gaining nothing from the Seoul-Washington summit last week.
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BMP) was also critical of Moon's diplomatic performance in North Korean affairs and urged the government to send Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon as a special envoy to Pyongyang to resolve the situation.
"Our good enough deal was rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump, and the U.S.'s big deal has remained on the table," BMP Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu said Monday.
"North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticized the Moon Jae-in administration and urged it to take responsibility, not play a broker in denuclearization talks."
Sohn urged the presidential office to send Prime Minister Lee to Pyongyang to better represent Moon and the South Korean government.
"Let's work toward a political compromise between the two Koreas," Sohn said. "Existing policies cannot solve the issues on the Korean Peninsula. In that sense, Lee would play the critical political role as special envoy and I hope he could have a deep conversation with the North's Kim."