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Is It Right Time to Send Cement to Pyongyang?

Posted October. 05, 2006 07:12,   


In response to North Korea’s declaration to conduct a nuclear test, the National Assembly held a joint meeting Wednesday between the Unification, Foreign Affairs & Trade Committee and the National Defense Committee to discuss the government’s current understanding of the situation and upcoming measures. Opposition party lawmakers demanded strong countermeasures and finding out those responsible for it. They said North Korea’s declaration signifies the failure of President Roh’s administration.

“The incumbent government pretended as if it were capable of solving problems that it couldn’t. Although the government had been dragged on by North Korea, in the end, it was ignored by North Korea,” Rep. Han Hwa-kap of the Democratic Party said.

“Is this a complete failure of the Sunshine Policy? Negotiations over the transfer of wartime command control must be reviewed in such crisis,” Rep. Kim Yong-kap of the GNP stressed.

“Despite the crisis, cement, an important material for nuclear testing, was once again shipped to North Korea today,” Rep. Rhee In-je of the People First Party said. “The cement-loaded ship must immediately return home.”

Both the ruling Uri Party and the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) held an emergency meeting on the day to grasp the situation.

“Just one more step means falling off from a cliff. The nuclear test must, by no means, be carried out,” Rep. Kim Geun-tae of the Uri Party said. “Dialogue is the only solution. North Korea and the other member nations of the six-party talks should make efforts to realize that it’s not time for action but for a dialogue.”

“Since North Korea’s nuclear test has begun its countdown, discussion over independent wartime command should be immediately suspended,” Kang Jae-sup, chairman of the GNP said. “Officials such as the Unification Minister and Defense Minister, who disregarded the seriousness of the North’s nuclear problem and lukewarm about the issue, should withdraw from their posts immediately.”

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