South Korean leader says peacetime with North Korea is over

South Korea’s new leader Yoon Seok-yeol
Photo: Reuters

On Monday (23), South Korea’s neo-conservative leader, Yoon Seok-yeol, said that peace between the two Koreas is over, and that the upcoming negotiations between Seoul and Pyongyang should be negotiated with him.

In his first interview with CNN, two weeks after taking office, Yeol said, “I think the ball is in Chairman Kim’s court, it’s his choice to start a dialogue with us.”

This year alone, North Korea has launched 15 missile tests, more than the past two years combined. Moreover, Kim pledged to “strengthen and develop” his nuclear forces “as quickly as possible.”

“Just temporarily escaping from North Korean provocation or conflict is not something we should do. This kind of approach over the past five years has proven to be a failure.”

The second former Prosecutor General Yoon has consistently emphasized a tougher stance toward North Korea and a desire to strengthen the South’s armed forces, a stance different from that of his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who encouraged dialogue and peaceful reconciliation.

He criticized North Korea’s increased production of nuclear weapons.

What I want is common and shared prosperity on the Korean peninsula. I do not think the increase in nuclear capacity [da Coreia do Norte] beneficial and conducive to the maintenance of international peace.”

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