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Rival Parties Urge Overhaul of Military Defense Policy

Posted July. 01, 2002 22:57,   


The Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) urged to thoroughly review the nation`s military defense posture including the revision of the rules of engagement in order to quickly respond to the North`s attack.

While the GNP urgeds the suspension of inter-Korean exchanges in the private sector including the Mt. Geumgang tour project, the MDP said the private sector exchange should keep going despite the naval clash in the West Sea.

Lee Hoi-chang, GNP presidential candidate said in a meeting with the party`s post-holders on the 1st, "the public criticism over the 5-stage rules of engagement and the military defense posture should be given a thorough overhaul."

He also said, "The government should extract a public apology from the Kim Jong-il regime and issue a stern warning to the regime to prevent such cases from recurring. The GNP will closely cooperate with the government to come up with appropriate countermeasures."

In this meeting, Suh Chung-won, the party chairman, called for a review of the transfer of core technologies including CDMA and other exchange and cooperative projects. Rep. Park Se-hwan urged the dismissal of Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin.

The MDP hold a meeting with officials from the Defense Ministry and the National Security Council and urged the government to revise the rules of engagement, keep the Northern Limit Line intact, extract apology and promise to prevent such an incident from recurring and punish those who provoked the attack from the North, and continue the private sector exchange and cooperation including Mt. Geumgang tour project. Roh Moo-hyun, MDP presidential candidate said before the meeting, "Some people feel the need for the review of the government`s North Korea policy. For now prompt judgement and action are required."

Meanwhile, Rep. Rhee In-je of the MDP hold a press conference and called for the suspension of the Mt. Geumgang tour project on a temprorary basis, the dismissal of Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin and Presidential Advisor for North Korean Affairs Lim Dong-won and the opposition to Kim Jong-il`s return visit to South Korea.

Young-Chan Yoon Sung-Won Park yyc11@donga.com swpark@donga.com