SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A South Korean political heavyweight has proposed to halt discussion on the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the South Korean soil.
Moon Jae-in, former chief of the main opposition Minjoo Party who is considered one of the most powerful presidential hopefuls in the opposition bloc, said on his Facebook page on Sunday that President Park Geun-hye should temporarily halt the discussion on the THAAD deployment and make diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
However, Chung Jin-suk, floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, told a press conference on Monday that Moon's proposal will only be in interests of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), expressing his deep disappointment at the potential presidential candidate's security perception.
Such condemnations followed Moon's proposal saying President Park should temporarily stop a comprehensive process for the U.S. missile shield installation and should resume diplomatic efforts to completely dismantle the DPRK's nuclear program.
As South Korea already designated a THAAD site, Moon said, there would be no change in a big picture even with the delayed deployment of the U.S. missile defense system, calling on Park to discuss the issue from a much broader perspective for national interests.
Moon ran for president and closely competed with President Park, then ruling party candidate, in the 2012 election. He is regarded as the most powerful presidential aspirant in the opposition bloc during the upcoming presidential election scheduled for late 2017.
His comments came amid strong oppositions from China and Russia for the THAAD installation in South Korean soil as it breaks regional balance and damages security interests of Beijing and Moscow.
Seoul and Washington announced its decision in July to deploy one THAAD battery in the country's southeastern region by the end of next year despite the objections.
Moon said a fundamental resolution of the DPRK's nuclear issue is to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, offering to urgently freeze Pyongyang's nuclear program and then completely abolish the program.
The political heavyweight stressed the importance of diplomatic efforts, saying either four-way or six-party talks can be resumed to persuade the DPRK to give up its nuclear program diplomatically.
The aid-for-disarmament dialogue, which involves the DPRK, South Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, has been halted since late 2008.