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PM expresses disappointment party leaders reject proposal to travel with Moon to N.K.

2018/09/12 10:44

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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon expressed disappointment Wednesday that some opposition party leaders rejected a proposal to accompany President Moon Jae-in on a trip to Pyongyang next week for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon's office proposed that the leaders of five ruling and opposition parties travel together with Moon when he visits Pyongyang from Sept. 18-20. Officials believe such joint visits will underline bipartisan support for cross-border reconciliation and peace.

But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party have turned down the proposal, saying there's little they can do during the trip or that even if they go, they would end up being just sidekicks.

"They may reject it, but I wish they would have rejected it with more graceful reasons. It's very disappointing that they used such expressions as 'sidekicks,'" Prime Minister Lee said during a breakfast meeting with reporters traveling with him.

"If I were them, I would have said, 'I wish it will go well,' or, 'I will go next time,'" he said.

Lee said that the upcoming summit could be more substantial than the previous two.

"Now, it's time to produce action, action plans," Lee said. "It's different from (the first summit). I think something could be produced."

   Lee also said that summit meetings are held because they can produce results.

"Several symbolic things could happen during the three days in Pyongyang," he said.