Incoming gov’t to seek N. Korea’s complete denuclearization, boost defense capability

SEOUL– The incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government will seek North Korea’s “complete and verifiable” denuclearization and a “revolutionary” reinforcement of South Korea’s capability to respond to the North’s nuclear and missile threats, the transition team said Tuesday.

The committee outlined 110 key policy tasks to pursue under the Yoon government, which included 18 tasks in foreign policy and national security under the overarching goal of achieving “a global leading nation that contributes to freedom, peace and prosperity.”

Under the task of North Korea’s denuclearization, the transition team said the aim will be to realize sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula through North Korea’s “complete and verifiable denuclearization.”

Previous administrations have sometimes used the term “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID)” to describe their end-goal for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which prompted questions about why “irreversible” was left out.

“Even if we do not repeat the typical phrase CVID, that phrase is still valid,” said Kim Tae-hyo, a transition team member who has been named a deputy national security adviser in the incoming administration, during a press briefing.

In particular, the incoming government will seek to achieve denuclearization and a peace regime on the basis of principle and consistency by drawing up a “predictable denuclearization road map” devised through close consultations with the United States and by pursuing negotiations with North Korea under the “principle of reciprocity.”

In case of tangible progress in North Korea’s denuclearization, the administration will push for peace treaty talks.

The transition team also promised to strengthen cooperation with the international community to strictly enforce U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea and induce China and Russia to play a constructive role for North Korea’s denuclearization.

Moreover, the new administration will push to set up a trilateral security dialogue channel between the two Koreas and the U.S., such as by establishing a liaison office in the border village of Panmunjom or in Washington.

On the task of normalizing inter-Korean relations and preparing for eventual reunification, the new administration will seek pragmatic and flexible inter-Korean relations based on principles and the national interest.

Specifically, the incoming government will pursue economic development projects in the North in the areas of infrastructure, investment and finance, and industry and technology, in line with progress in denuclearization.

Another task is the “revolutionary” reinforcement of South Korea’s capability to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

The plan calls for securing the homegrown three-axis system consisting of Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR), an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict; the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform; and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system (KAMD).

Instead of including Yoon’s campaign promise to deploy additional units of the U.S. THAAD antimissile system in the country, the transition team outlined plans to develop a multilayered defense system and push for the early deployment of a system to intercept long-range artillery, or a so-called “Korean Iron Dome.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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