International community should keep condemning North Korea’s provocations

Kim Gunn, a first-term lawmaker-elect of the ruling People Power Party, poses during an interview with The Korea Times at the National Assembly in Seoul, May 2. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Kim Gunn, a first-term lawmaker-elect from the ruling People Power Party’s satellite People Future Party, emphasized the importance of the international community working together to unanimously condemn North Korea’s military provocations.

Kim, a seasoned diplomat who served as the special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration before earning a proportional representative seat in the 22nd National Assembly, said Pyongyang’s goal is to “routinize” its missile tests in an attempt to move on to bigger provocations.

“North Korea believes its continued violation of the U.N. Security Council Resolutions will trigger indifference in South Korea and the international community. However, we should work tirelessly with our allies and like-minded countries to send a strong message to North Korea that its provocative acts cannot be tolerated,” he said during a recent interview with The Korea Times.

“Also, we should impose sanctions on North Korea’s illegal cyber activities, particularly those intended to finance its weapons and missile development.”

The lawmaker-elect expressed his intention to advance bills related to developing a sanctions clause and supporting the enhancement of subnational diplomacy in the Assembly, where he is expected to serve on the foreign affairs committee.

“Compared with other countries that have an applicable law when imposing sanctions, South Korea implements sanctions based on the guidelines held by relevant ministries,” he said. “While working as a career diplomat, I realized the importance of subnational diplomacy. I wish there is a framework, in which a central government can support diplomatic activities by local governments.”

Kim helped shape Yoon’s “audacious initiative” that laid out the foundation of the current administration’s approach to North Korea. Regarding criticism that it’s a failed strategy, given Pyongyang’s apparent escalation of bellicose rhetoric and activities, Kim expressed disappointment that North Korea refused to even come to the negotiating table.

“Critics misunderstand the characteristics of the audacious initiative. It is premised on the idea of a comprehensive, step-by-step denuclearization of North Korea and the normalization of inter-Korean relations in exchange for corresponding political and military measures such as providing diplomatic assistance for normalizing U.S.-North Korea bilateral relations in addition to economic assistance and infrastructure investment,” he explained.

“We should continue to move forward with the 3D principle, consisting of taking a holistic approach that ‘deters’ North Korea’s nuclear 스포츠토토존 threats, ‘dissuades’ Pyongyang’s nuclear development, and pursues ‘dialogue.’”

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