Anchor: Presidential candidates staged a heated televised policy debate at KBS on Wednesday night. The five key contenders collided over the deployment of the U.S. THAAD battery and other divisive issues, including whether to recognize North Korea as a "primary enemy."
Kim Bum-soo wraps up the foreign and security policy part of the debate.
[Sound bite: Bareun Party Yoo Seong-min vs. Democratic Party Moon Jae-in]
Yoo: "Is North Korea our primary enemy?"
Moon: "Such a designation must not be made by president. If you become president, Mr. Yoo, you yourself would also have to solve inter-Korean problems."
Yoo: "This is nonsense the commander in chief cannot call North Korea our primary enemy."
Bareun Party candidate Yoo Seong-min asked Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in if North Korea is the primary enemy.
Moon responded that presidents should not label the North as such as the job requires solving inter-Korean problems.
As Moon avoided answering the question, Yoo said it was nonsense that a candidate for commander in chief cannot identify North Korea as an enemy.
On the issue of THAAD deployment, candidates also focused on criticizing leading contender Moon.
[Sound bite: Bareun Party Yoo Seong-min/Justice Party Sim Sang-jeung vs. Democratic Party Moon Jae-in]
Yoo: "Will you deploy THAAD or not if you are president?"
Sim: "It was embarrassing when you called it strategic ambiguity."
Moon: "Don't we need strategic prudence on this foreign policy issue?"
With Yoo raising issues with Moon's unclear position on the U.S. missile shield, Justice Party's Sim Sang-jeung criticized what Moon defined as "strategic ambiguity."
While arguing that "strategic prudence" is necessary on the high-caliber foreign policy issue, Moon turned the criticism on People's Party's Ahn Cheol-soo for reversing his position while the rest of his party officially opposes the deployment. Ahn said the presidential candidate is the central axis of his party.
[Sound bite: Democratic Party Moon Jae-in vs. People's Party Ahn Cheol-soo]
Moon: "You Mr. Ahn are the only one for THAAD and the People's Party's official position is against THAAD.
Ahn: "Everyone else works around the presidential candidate in the center."
Former ruling Liberty Korea Party's Hong Joon-pyo pressed Moon if he wanted to abolish the controversial 'National Security Act.' While denying specific allegations that he exerted undue pressure to remove the law as chief of staff for late former President Roh Moo-hyun, Moon acknowledged that his party did work to discard the law against North Korea.
The conservative party candidate was also suspicious of Ahn's future North Korea policies. While pointing to the fact that the People's Party chief Park Jie-won was behind the Kim Dae-jung administration's sunshine policy, Hong pressed Ahn if he would too send money to North Korea. Ahn said that there were goods and bads in the Kim administration's North Korea policies and he would inherit the positive aspects while learning lessons from the negatives.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.