President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday said North Korea’s nuclear threat was “a problem that cannot be simply let off the hook” and reaffirmed the South’s resolve to strongly counter any provocation.
“We cannot live with the nuclear (threat) hanging above our head,” Park said in a luncheon with the country’s religious leaders at Cheong Wa Dae.
“If North Korea should abandon its nuclear (programs) right now and step toward the right path, I promise to support North Korea by actively mobilizing the Korean Peninsula’s trust-building process,” she said.
|President Park Geun-hye attends a luncheon with religious leaders at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday including Rev. Kim Hee-joong (second from right) of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Korea and Jaseung (left), head of the Buddhist Jogye Order. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)|
Insisting that nuclear weapons would only bring further isolation instead of solving problems, Park also said Seoul’s sanctions against North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test would be a matter to handle through discussion with the international society.
During the meeting that brought together Buddhist, Protestant, Catholic, Won-Buddhist and other religious representatives, Park urged them to help open up North Korea to bring lasting peace on the peninsula.
“I ask of you to play a substantial role so that North Korea can make such right choices as opening its door and taking care of the lives of the people,” Park said at a luncheon with
“I am well aware of the efforts by the religious leaders to help the North Koreans and bring peace on the Korean Peninsula through nongovernmental exchanges.”
North Korea has been upping its saber-rattling against Seoul and Washington since the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions against its Feb. 12 nuclear test and the launch of the Park government on Feb. 25.
Park also mentioned the political parties’ agreement on her government reorganization plans after weeks in a standoff.
“I believe there should never be a case where the problems of the people are ignored by obsessing over political gains,” she said.
The meeting was joined by seven representatives including Ja Seung of the Buddhist Jogye Order, Rev. Hong Jae-chul of the Christian Council of Korea, and Rev. Kim Hee-joong of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Korea.
By Lee Joo-hee (email@example.com