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S. Korea's Park Urges Pyongyang to Abandon Nuclear Weapons

  • VOA News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye delivers a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the March First Independence Movement Day in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2013.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye delivers a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the March First Independence Movement Day in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2013.

South Korea's president has urged North Korea to abandon its drive for nuclear weapons and uphold its agreements with her country and the international community.

In a speech Friday, President Park Geun-hye said the North's willingness to make the right choice would be answered with more flexible engagement.

"While provocation by the North will be met by stronger counter responses, the North's willingness to make the right choice and walk the path of change will be answered with more flexible engagement," she said. "It is my hope that North Korea will uphold is agreements with South Korea as well as the with the international community and walk the path of trust and mutual acknowledgement"

North Korea launched a long range rocket in December and conducted its third nuclear test last month. The actions have drawn sharp rebukes from the international community and raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Park's speech came four days after she was inaugurated as South Korea's first woman president.

President Park also urged Japan to take responsibility for past abuse. The South Korean leader said it is incumbent on Tokyo to correct its understanding of history in order to partner with Seoul in playing a leading role in East Asia.

The speech marked marked the 94th anniversary of protests against Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea.
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