South Korean Opposition Leader Urges Dialogue with North Korea to Ease Tensions

SEOUL — Following recent escalations in military activities by North Korea, the floor leader of South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party, Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo, has called on President Yoon Suk Yeol to seek dialogue with the North. This appeal comes amid heightened concerns over the potential for conflict on the Korean Peninsula, highlighted by North Korea's announcement of its test-firing of the submarine-launched cruise missile Pulhwasal-3-31.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the recent increase in weapons testing and aggressive statements from North Korea, including the designation of South Korea as a "primary foe" and threats of occupation in the event of war, underscore the urgent need for diplomatic efforts to mitigate the risk of conflict. During a party leadership meeting, Hong emphasized the importance of opening channels for minimum dialogue to prevent misunderstandings from escalating into war and called for a reduction in confrontational rhetoric and actions. He noted that while the United States and China are actively engaged in managing tensions, as evidenced by a recent meeting between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, South Korea has yet to take similar diplomatic steps.

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