Candidates of the SKorea ruling party take a more moderate stance towards the North

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean governing party’s presidential candidate said Thursday he will continue a conciliatory approach toward North Korea if elected and questioned the effectiveness of US-led economic sanctions in pressuring the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

While Lee Jae-ming of the Liberal Democratic Party representing President Moon Jae-in made the above remarks, the nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States were still at a deadlock due to the relaxation of the severe sanctions led by the United States in exchange for North Korea to take measures. South Korea stopped its nuclear weapons program.

In the March election, Lee Jae-yong and conservative candidate Yoon Suk Yeol (Yoon Suk Yeol) vowed to take a tougher stance against North Korea and pledged to strengthen military cooperation with Washington and Tokyo in response to North Korea’s constant The nuclear threat of development.

In meetings with foreign media, Lee Hsien Loong emphasized that South Korea should play a leading role in dealings with North Korea, which reflects Seoul’s concern that South Korea is increasingly losing its say in international efforts to resolve the nuclear deadlock.

Lee expressed his desire to become an “active mediator” between US President Joe Biden and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, helping them reach an agreement on the basis of conditional sanctions lifting and North Korea’s reduction of nuclear weapons and “phased simultaneous actions.” missile.

“When we asked whether a tough stance based on sanctions and pressure (against North Korea) really produced the results the Western world wanted, I can’t say that the situation is 100%,” Li said.

“Looking forward, we will judge whether a more moderate method is more effective or a more rigorous method based on the development of the situation. But from the current situation, I think soft policy is more effective than hard policy.”

In 2018, Moon Jae-in took a similar position when he met with former US President Trump for the first time. When or how it happened.

But after their next meeting broke down in 2019, the negotiations derailed, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s request for a substantial relaxation of sanctions in exchange for a partial abandonment of its nuclear capabilities.

Since then, Kim Jong Un vowed to strengthen his nuclear deterrence in response to what he described as American hostility, and stepped up tests of nuclear weapons threatening US allies South Korea and Japan.

His government also suspended all cooperation with South Korea, while expressing anger at South Korea’s joint military exercises with the United States and its unwillingness to defy sanctions to restart North Korea’s economic projects.

King’s hard line has raised doubts about whether he will completely abandon the arsenal of weapons he believes is the greatest guarantee of his survival. While holding open talks with North Korea, the Biden administration has not shown the willingness to relax sanctions unless North Korea takes concrete steps to achieve denuclearization.

Lee said that the rebuilding of trust between Seoul and Washington and North Korea is crucial to the emergence of diplomatic work. He also urged North Korea to abide by the peace agreement between North Korea and North Korea reached in 2018, and expressed regret that North Korea detonated an empty inter-Korean liaison office near its border with South Korea in 2020.

“From the distant United States, the Korean Peninsula issue is only part of its global military security strategy. But for the 80 million South Koreans living here, it is a matter of life and death and our entire future,” Li said.

Lee stated that he is willing to improve relations with the former colonial ruler Japan. Due to trade disputes and wartime history, Japan has fallen to a post-World War II low in recent years.

Japan expressed anger at the Korean court’s ruling, which ordered Japanese companies to compensate Koreans who were forced to work as slaves during the war. For Korean women who were forced to become sex slaves by the Japanese wartime army, these countries have also fallen into a stalemate that lasted for decades.

Li said that he will maintain two tracks-cooperating with Tokyo on security and economic issues, but making a firm response to issues surrounding history and territorial disputes.

Recent polls slightly favor Yin Eun-hye instead of Li Eun-hye, because the public is increasingly disappointed in Moon Jae-in’s efforts to cope with the weak job market, soaring house prices and record household debt.

Moon Jae-in was also accused of betraying his promise to curb the excessive behavior of the “chaebol”, a South Korean family business group, and terminate relations with politicians. In August, Moon Jae-in’s attorney general released Lee Jae-yong, a descendant of billionaire Samsung, because he played a role in a large-scale corruption scandal that sparked national protests and led to Moon Jae-in’s The conservative predecessor stepped down. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Presidential candidate Lee Jae-Ming promised to take severe measures against white-collar crimes, but when asked whether he would release Samsung’s vice chairman if he became president, he refused to answer.

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