Chung Eui-yong, the first national security chief for new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, vowed to take the initiative to improve inter-Korean ties that have been in a deadlock for nine years under the conservative governments.
The top priority in security affairs would be placed to improve inter-Korean relations as “breakdown in dialogue” is unnatural, he said in his first press conference on Sunday upon appointment.
Moon who had served as the chief of staff for former President Roh Moo-hyun and arranged his summit with then North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il during his campaign pledged to succeed the rapprochement policy of liberal governments for diplomatic solution to the North Korean issue at a time tensions among Pyongyang, Washington and Beijing have escalated after North Korea continued with tests on ballistic missiles and U.S. policymakers and with legislators openly discussing preemptive strike.
“We will take things slowly as conditions are not right. But inter-Korean military contact channel should be restored fast,” the security chief said.
Chung also supported Moon’s questioning of “procedural” problem in the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery that had been installed in the dead of night late April ahead of the May 9 election regardless of the need of the missile shield.
The ruling Democratic Party is said to be considering to put the issue to a legislative vote.
The career diplomat who had chaired the International Labor Organization and served as the envoy to Geneva joined Moon’s campaign camp while heading an advisory group for the candidate.
By Na Hyun-joon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]