South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye is to hold a meeting with the country’s opposition party leaders to urge them to reconsider their objections to the deployment of a US missile system following North Korea’s recent nuclear test.
A presidential spokesman in South Korea confirmed that the meeting will be held on Monday, without providing any more details.
However, the Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified presidential official as saying that Park would seek cooperation from both the members of her conservative ruling party and liberal opposition parties for her handling of the perceived nuclear threat from North Korea.
When North Korea launched its previous nuclear test, South Korea and the US announced plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in southern South Korea to counter the potential threat from the North.
In January, North Korea said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, its fourth nuclear test, and vowed to build up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the US and its regional allies.
On Friday, North Korea conducted yet another “nuclear warhead explosion,” its fifth, saying it was meant to counter US hostility.
Park said after the explosion that the nuclear test proved North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s “maniacal recklessness” in ignoring calls to abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
North Korea says it will not give up on its nuclear military program unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.