Published : 2013-02-12 17:00
Updated : 2013-02-12 17:00
South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye strongly condemned North Korea's nuclear test Tuesday, saying the incoming government will not tolerate a nuclear-armed North, her spokeswoman said.
"I strongly condemn North Korea's third nuclear test that was carried out in spite of strong warnings from us and the international community," Park said in a statement read by her spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun. "North Korea's nuclear test is a grave threat to the Korean Peninsula and international peace, hampers inter-Korean trust-building and undermines efforts for peace."
The statement came after Park held a 50-minute emergency meeting with transition team officials to discuss the nuclear test that came just before noon.
Kim Jang-soo, chief of the transition team's foreign affairs and defense subcommittee, and Yun Byung-se, a subcommittee member, were among those who briefed Park, Cho said. Kim has also been nominated by Park to head the newly created national security office at the presidential office.
In the statement, Park said her incoming government will not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea "under any circumstances,"
stressing that the new administration will use strong deterrence measures and strengthen cooperation with the international community to denuclearize the North.
She added that North Korea must recognize that it has nothing to gain from provocations.
"North Korea must strictly abide by all U.N. Security Council resolutions and keep its denuclearization pledge with the international community," Park said. "The members of the six-party talks, the U.N. and the international community must hold North Korea strictly accountable for its wrong actions."
The six-party talks are the international negotiating process aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs and involve China, Japan, the two Koreas, the United States and Russia. The talks have been suspended since the last session in late 2008.
Park also stressed that her vision of a "Korean Peninsula trust process" can only be realized with the North's cooperation. The process seeks to restore inter-Korean relations through large-scale international economic projects in the North on the condition the North makes progress on dismantling its nuclear weapons program.
"As the saying goes, hands must meet in order to make noise.
Only when North Korea demonstrates sincere and serious attitude and actions can we pursue (the process) together," she said.
Park called for national unity in response to the current situation, saying she will work closely with the current government and the opposition on matters of foreign policy and national security. (Yonhap News)