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President Moon Reacts to Missile Launch in KBS Interview

Hot Issues of the Week2019-05-12

ⓒKBS News

President Moon Jae-in warned North Korea that its military provocations could make the current dialogue track more difficult.

"One of the two projectiles fired today had a range of over 400 kilometers. The U.S. and South Korea both speculate this to be a short-range missile."

"As UN Security Council Resolutions state that ballistic missiles shall not be fired even if they are short-ranged, if the recent launches of projectiles are proven to be ballistic missiles, it could be against the resolutions."

"If North Korea keeps repeating these moves I would like to warn them that it could make dialogue and negotiations more difficult."

During an exclusive live television interview with KBS on Thursday, Moon also acknowledged possible opposition to sending food aid to the North when the Kim Jong-un regime is raising military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He asked rival party leaders to meet for talks to discuss the provision of food aid and other North Korea-related issues.

“The U.S. and South Korea had agreed to the food aid before North Korea's [Thursday] launching of projectiles, but as that launch has now happened, we need the support of the Korean people. I hope to hold talks with the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties to discuss this matter further.”

He said the public is frustrated by the recent parliamentary stalemate, and expressed a desire to promptly address the provision of food aid to the North and other inter-Korean issues as a way of breaking through a political deadlock resulting from the recent fast-tracking of controversial bills.

The president also stressed the need to initiate another round of talks with a multipartisan consultative body involving himself and the floor leaders of rival camps to discuss bills on people’s livelihoods and a proposed supplementary budget plan.

"A promise has not been kept. I am suggesting that we now show the people that we are trying to fulfill that promise. However we may try, it takes more than one side to make a deal, which is why I expect the opposition to come up with a more sincere response."

Regarding the Korean economy, which saw its worst contraction in ten years during this year's first quarter, President Moon said that the economy seems to be on the road to recovery.

He projected that economic growth would accelerate in the second half of the year to meet a yearly growth target of two-point-five to two-point-six percent.

The interview, held at the presidential office, began at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and lasted around 86 minutes. It was Moon’s first one-on-one interview with a local media outlet since he took office in May 2017.

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