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Parties condemn North Korea over shelling attack

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By Kim Hyo-jin

Political parties criticized North Korea for firing over the western border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), although they showed slightly different tones in denouncing the attack.

The ruling Saenuri Party urged the government to take stern measures, while the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) urged it to refrain from escalating tension and propose talks.

"National security and peace can be achieved when the government shows determination to ruthlessly retaliate against Pyongyang's provocations," said Saenuri Party leader Rep. Kim Moo-sung during an emergency meeting.

Labeling Pyongyang an unpredictable and irrational regime, Kim called on the government to go to the highest combat readiness and use indiscriminate retaliation against any further provocation.

Rep. Hwang Jin-ha denounced the North for putting its frontline troops on a war footing.

"It is deplorable that Pyongyang, which has all responsibility for the situation, is further increasing tension," Hwang said.

NPAD Chairman Rep. Moon Jae-in also criticized the North's provocation but suggested a flexible response.

"Provocations that threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula and the lives of the people cannot be justified for any reason," he said during a party meeting. "But what we need is a limited response that stops any further escalation of military conflict."

He also proposed that the Park Geun-hye government use dialogue with Pyongyang to ease tension.

"I suggest that the government hold high-level talks with the North, without any conditions attached," he said.


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