The U.S. and Japan condemned North Korea’s firing of short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, saying the firing constitutes a violation of UN Security Council resolution, but the South Korean government still failed to clarify its position until Friday. Opposition parties blasted the government, saying, “Can’t you even call a missile a missile?“
Unification Ministry vice spokesman Cha Deok-cheol told a regular press briefing on Friday, “At an emergency meeting of the National Security Council standing committee on Thursday, the government expressed deep concern about the North’s firing of missiles,” adding, “The Unification Ministry also shares this stance.” He went on to say, “We have expressed our position that as for the questions of whether they were ballistic missiles or not and whether the firing constitutes a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, we will determine through close collaboration between South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities.
The Unification Ministry cannot afford to issue an official position.” The ministry keep reiterating the same stance from Thursday, failing to clarify its position on whether they were ballistic missiles or a violation of the UNSC resolutions. The South Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry also said, “The military is currently closely analyzing the firings,” but stopped short of issuing any official position about Washington’s move to call a UN Security Council’s committee on sanctions against Pyongyang.
The main opposition People’s Power Party strongly criticized the expression “unidentified projectiles” used by President Moon Jae-in and the South Korean military authority. The party’s candidate for the Seoul mayoral election Oh Se-hoon wrote in a Facebook post, “We are living in a weird country where we cannot call a missile a missile and instead label it an ‘unidentified projectile,” adding, “I come to believe that the reason our military used the expression ‘unidentified projectiles’ is because President Moon Jae-in is too wary of North Korea’s position.”
Kyung-Suk Kang firstname.lastname@example.org