Opposition denounces Seoul’s plan to welcome N. Korean official tied to 2010 attacks

by WorldTribune Staff, February 22, 2018

South Korea’s main opposition party is furious that the Moon Jae-In administration agreed to host a top North Korean official at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

Moon’s government announced that Kim Yong-Chol, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, will head an eight-member high-level delegation to the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Games. Moon has said he will meet with the delegation.

Kim Yong-Chol

Kim Yong-Chol, a former North Korean military leader who headed the North’s reconnaissance bureau, is suspected of playing a leading role in the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan warship and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

The Cheonan’s sinking resulted in the deaths of 46 sailors while two marines and two civilians were killed in the island shelling.

“The main culprit of the Cheonan’s sinking can never put his foot on the land of the Republic of Korea,” Rep. Jun Hee-Kyung, a spokeswoman of the Liberty Korea Party (LKP), said in a statement.

“The only reason that Kim Yong-Chol, the main culprit of the Cheonan’s sinking and other provocations against the South, should set his foot in the South should be to come clean on his crimes and kneel before” victims of the attacks and the South Korean people, Jun said.

The ruling Democratic Party welcomed the planned visit.

“We expect this visit will contribute to easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and moving inter-Korean relations forward,” Rep. Kim Hyun, the party’s spokesperson, said in a statement.

Kim Hyun also said the South’s Democratic Party hopes the North’s delegation will hold a meeting with the U.S. delegation led by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

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