Park calls for national unity on peninsula's denuclearization

Updated: 2016-06-14 15:52


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SEOUL - President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Park Geun-hye on Tuesday called for national unity to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and lay grounds for reunification with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying the inter-Korean relations are in a critical moment.

"The goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and laying grounds for unification can be achieved when the force of the nation is gathered together at a time when the south-north relations face a critical crisis," Park said in a video message to a session of the National Unification Advisory Council, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Tensions remained high following the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in January and the launch in February of a long-range rocket, which was condemned as a disguised test of ballistic missile technology.

Seoul has since focused on sanctions and pressures on Pyongyang, deciding to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the once last-remaining symbol of inter-Korean cooperation in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong, as part of independent sanctions over the nuclear detonation.

The DPRK had recently called on the ROK to hold talks several times to defuse tensions on the peninsula, the proposals flatly rejected by Seoul as Pyongyang failed to mention the peninsula's denuclearization.

Park said the DPRK had endangered peace in the ROK and the international community by publicly threatening further provocations and claiming that it is a nuclear state following the fourth nuclear test and missile launches.

"We will not be rattled," Park said, vowing to sever the vicious cycle of provocations followed by rewards in order to build a new order on the peninsula.

The president said the ROK government had made best efforts to make the DPRK come to the path of a real change by giving up its nuclear program, while deterring the DPRK's further provocations with a firm military preparedness