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Officials urge N. Korea to halt nuke threats
Publication Date : 08-02-2013
South Korea President-elect Park Geun-hye and the leaders of the ruling and opposition parties strongly urged North Korea to immediately halt its nuclear test plan in their first emergency trilateral meeting on Thursday.
Park, Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo-yea and Democratic United Party interim leader Moon Hee-sang affirmed in a statement North Korea’s nuclear armament would not be tolerated and that any attempt would be met with strong measures from the members of the six-party talks, the UN and the international community.
The three also urged the North to abide by all UN Security Council resolutions and uphold its promise to denuclearise for improved inter-Korean relations and sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula.
In the statement, the three also agreed on their partnership in state affairs and to cooperate on imminent issues related to the people’s livelihood without condition, and to implement their common pledges made during the presidential election.
The rare example of pan-partisan cooperation showed the urgency of the security situation on the Korean peninsula amid Pyongyang’s imminent third nuclear test strongly opposed by the international community.
Pyongyang has reportedly completed preparations for its nuclear test at its Punggye-ri site, where two previous tests were carried out in 2006 and 2009. The nuclear threat also follows the North’s successful launch of a rocket with a potential range of about 10,000km in December.
“If North Korea makes the wrong choice this time, it will undermine the new government’s sincere effort to forge trust between the two Koreas and achieve sustainable peace through the peace-building process,” Park said in an opening speech at the meeting.
Park’s “trustpolitik” approach to the North, in which inter-Korean cooperation would be promoted in steps based on a trust-building process, was seen to face an impending hurdle upon North Korea’s nuclear threat.
“It is time for the rival parties to strongly urge the North in unison before the North takes any reckless action to suspend (the test plan) immediately and make the right choice,” Park said.
Park reiterated that the North would gain nothing through nuclear weapons and that it would face strong measures from the members of the six-party talks, the UN and the international community, thereby further isolating itself.
The three leaders agreed to closely cooperate to counter any provocation by the North and called on the government and the military to maintain national security.
During the meeting, the DUP’s interim leader Moon expressed consensus with Park and said, “It is valuable for the three of us to gather and discuss our views, as in terms of security there is no ruling or opposition force. It also shows the world that we stand the same on security and also tells the North that it should not misjudge.”
Saenuri Party chairman Hwang said effective measures should be considered.
The gathering of the three, the first since Park’s election, was also expected to be the start of a joint session between the incoming government and the political parties to discuss pending national matters as pledged by Park during her election.
Park currently needs cross-party cooperation in getting her new government organisation plan and the nominations of Cabinet members approved by the National Assembly.
The DUP, currently undergoing a major makeover after its December election defeat, has been stepping up its security-oriented campaign, such as by declaring a statement for peace and security during the leadership’s visit to Yeonpyeong Island on Wednesday.
The DUP, however, also expressed regret over the absence of President Lee Myung-bak from the meeting.
“When it comes to a meeting about North Korea’s nuclear issue, it is a more reasonable and proper approach to conduct a four-way meeting gathering the incumbent chief commander of national security President Lee Myung-bak and succeeding leader Park Geun-hye, along with the representatives of the political parties to support their agreement and decision,” said DUP spokesman Park Yong-jin.
The DUP had proposed to Park the four-way meeting on Wednesday but decided to attend the three-way meeting as suggested by the president-Park for now.