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PPP floor leader warns North Korea has nothing to gain from provocations

                                                                                                 Rep. Kweon Seong-dong,<strong></strong> floor leader of the People Power Party (PPP) / Yonhap
Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, floor leader of the People Power Party (PPP) / Yonhap

North Korea will receive nothing from provocations but sanctions and punishment from the international community, the floor leader of the ruling party said Wednesday amid concerns the North could conduct its seventh nuclear weapon test in the coming days.

Rep. Kweon Seong-dong of the People Power Party (PPP) made the remarks in a consultative meeting with officials from the ruling party, the government and the presidential office, including Foreign Minister Park Jin and Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop.

"North Korea's armed provocations, as well as nuclear tests, are simply reckless gambling with the lives of North Koreans," Kweon said. "We are giving them a clear warning."

On Sunday, North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, which was its 18th show of force this year and the third since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office May 10. The anticipation for Pyongyang's nuclear test has been also growing after South Korean and U.S. officials said the North appeared to have completed all necessary preparations.

"We will be no longer pushed around by North Korea," Kweon said. "Our stance is that we will firmly respond to provocations based on the strong South Korea-U.S. alliance and cooperation with the international community, though we will also continue our efforts for humanitarian support and dialogue."

In the meeting, Defense Minister Lee said the security situation on the Korean Peninsula was "very grave" and that the country would maintain a tight readiness posture.

"In order to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, we will beef up our execution power in regards to the U.S. extended deterrence commitment and strengthen our three-axis system," he said.

Extended deterrence is the notion that the U.S. would deploy its full range of military assets to defend its ally, South Korea, in the event of an emergency.

The so-called three-axis system is designed to counter the North's security threats. It consists of the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation, an operational plan to incapacitate the North Korean leadership in a major conflict, the Kill Chain preemptive strike platform, and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system. (Yonhap)

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