Appeasement policy for North Korea needs to change: Foreign minister nominee

Park Jin also said the incoming Yoon administration will maintain consistency with its policies of pressure and persuasion for denuclearization of the North.

Jo He-rim

Jo He-rim

The Korea Herald


Rep. Park Jin, Foreign Minister nominee, speaks to reporters outside his confirmation hearing preparation office in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

April 19, 2022

SEOUL – It’s time for a new policy approach to North Korea from the incumbent Moon Jae-in administration’s Korean Peninsula Peace Process, Rep. Park Jin, the nominee for foreign minister, said Monday.

Making his first trip to the preparation office for the parliamentary confirmation hearing, Park of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s People Power Party also denounced Pyongyang’s recent missile launches, calling them a threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

“North Korea has been launching short-, intermediate- and long-range hypersonic missiles and even an intercontinental ballistic missile. These consistent acts of Pyongyang are raising military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and go counter to national security, peace and stability here,” Park said.

Park, who led the consultation delegation of President-elect Yoon to meet with US authorities in Washington, was released from quarantine after being confirmed positive with COVID-19 upon his return from the trip on April 11.

“It is important to deter the North’s provocations through close cooperation between South Korea and the US … the Yoon Suk-yeol administration will pursue sensible and balanced North Korean policies.”

Park also said the incoming Yoon administration will maintain consistency with its policies of pressure and persuasion for denuclearization of the North and for peace and stability of the peninsula.

Regarding the peace process initiative led by the Moon Jae-in administration, Park said that it has reached its limit. It is time for South Korea to change its plan in dealing with the communist regime, he said.

“I believe the Moon Jae-in administration has made some efforts. But North Korea did not respond to (the initiative) properly, as you saw from the failure of the Hanoi Summit in 2019,” Park said.

“So the current appeasement is not enough to stop the continuing provocations of the North. I believe it is a time where change is needed for tangible policies.”

As the incoming Yoon administration is reportedly reviewing the option of joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue — a grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the US — as the fifth member, Park also highlighted the importance of expanding international cooperation.

“The Quad is a consultative group of democratic nations that contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. Even though South Korea is not an official member, I believe it is important that the country expand cooperation with such international groups in the fields where we hold prominence,” Park said.

The Quad is widely seen as being led by the US to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The foreign minister nominee also said close cooperation with Japan is crucial for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, while vowing to continue to communicate with China.

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