Go to contents

[Exclusive] 3 pres. candidates speak on actions if elected

[Exclusive] 3 pres. candidates speak on actions if elected

Posted October. 31, 2012 03:26,   


“I will mobilize all measures and methods at our disposal to counter from the perspective of our right to self-defend. We have to show North Korea that it will pay the price corresponding to its aggression.” -- Park Geun-hye, presidential candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party

“The Lee Myung-bak administration has displayed incompetence in national defense, as it was at loss in the wake of the North’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island. I will secure a solid deterrence against North Korea to ensure that it cannot even think about launching a provocation.” -- Moon Jae-in, presidential candidate of the main opposition Democratic United Party

“On North Korea’s aggression, we should follow the principle of proportionality (respond with weapons of similar force matching the degree to which South Korea is attacked) and the principle of preventing the spread of war as a priority.” -- Independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo

When asked what order they would give if an incident occurred similar to the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong in November 2010 after elected president, the three candidates gave different measures as answers.

The Dong-A Ilbo on Tuesday held “written hearings” with the candidates in the form of questions and answers by suggesting 10 hypothetical situations expected in diplomacy, national security and economy.

On if North Korea conducted something similar to the attack on Yeonpyeong, Park displayed the toughest stance, saying, “I will use all possible measures and method at our disposal.” Moon answered with “securing a solid deterrence against the North,” while Ahn said, “What is important is to fundamentally remove the possibility of skirmishes through the settlement of peace.”

Asked about inter-Korean dialogue on the 2008 killing of a South Korean tourist by a North Korean soldier in the North`s Mount Kumgang area, all three candidates said they would hold talks, but Park demanded a measure that could be "understood and accepted," while Moon and Ahn emphasized “dialogue first.”

Turning to the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, Park rejected renegotiation of the deal, while Moon said Seoul should demand renegotiation of provisions detrimental to South Korea’s interests. Ahn said he would demand revision to the accord if “Korea suffers damage.”

zeitung@donga.com peacechaos@donga.com