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Retired South Korean generals: Our country is in 'crisis'

By Elizabeth Shim
South Korean retired Gen. Paik Sun-yup (L), a Korean War hero, has joined a group that is voicing concern over North Korea policy in Seoul. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
South Korean retired Gen. Paik Sun-yup (L), a Korean War hero, has joined a group that is voicing concern over North Korea policy in Seoul. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Retired South Korean generals are voicing strong opposition to an inter-Korea military agreement signed in September and calling on their government to scrap the deal.

The "Republic of Korea Guardian Reserve Forces," a newly formed group of retired generals and reservists who oppose the Sept. 19 agreement, said Wednesday Seoul's engagement with North Korea has gone too far, Newsis reported.

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"At this moment, our homeland is in a crisis for the first time," the group said, adding the country is currently being "pushed to the Nakdong River line by destructive forces."

The Nakdong River was the site of major clashes during the 1950-53 Korean War between United Nations and North Korean forces.

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The group includes three former defense ministers, a former chief of the South Korean joint chiefs of staff, and commanders of the navy and marines. Paik Sun-yup, who served in the Korean War and became the first four-star general in the South, was appointed adviser to the group, according to Newsis.

The retired generals also expressed concerns about engagement, and claimed the administration of President Moon Jae-in was "collapsing liberal democracy" by "not recognizing the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea." South Korea is not being legitimately recognized because of a policy of inter-Korea "coexistence" that recognizes the "communist regime" of North Korea, the group said, adding engagement is a "deceptive false peace."

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The retired officers also condemned current Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo for "pandering to politicians."

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South Korea continues to engage the North, with a strong focus on infrastructure.

Asia Business Daily reported Wednesday the two sides are to meet Thursday at the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong to discuss cooperation on linking a road.

"Technical documents" will be shared, the unification ministry said Wednesday.

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Joint investigations of North Korean roads began in August 2018.

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