SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) – Main opposition leader Lee Jae-myung urged North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to stop its missile provocations, saying it will only lead to further isolation of the regime and intensify the suffering of its people.

Lee, chairman of the Democratic Party, made the remarks amid heightened tensions over North Korea's continued saber-rattling, such as its recent test-launch of a solid-fuel hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile and artillery firings near the western inter-Korean sea border.

The North's leader has also defined the South as a "primary foe" and "invariable enemy," and vowed to completely occupy the South in the event of war.

"North Korean leader Kim Jong-un should immediately stop its missile provocations and put an end to its hostile acts," Lee said in a party leadership meeting. "He should make efforts so as not to undermine the efforts made by his predecessors, such as Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung," he said.

Lee also called for President Yoon Suk Yeol to change the government's hostile policy stance on the North, noting that maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula is a matter of the economy and the lives of people in South Korea.

"We should not make the mistake of taking out the safety pin of peace, just to teach North Korea a bitter lesson ... If we respond to a neighbor throwing stones by throwing an even larger stone and cause greater harm, what benefit would that bring us?" he said.

Photo from Yonhap