|▲ Park Geun Hye speaking in Seoul on the 94th anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement (ⓒYonhap)|
Making her debut '3.1 Day' speech as South Korean leader, President Park Geun Hye has reiterated to North Korea that it will not be possible to develop jointly until Pyongyang becomes a responsible member of the international community.
Park, who was speaking at a commemorative event in Seoul marking the 94th anniversary of the 1919 movement against Japanese colonial rule, declared, “North Korea must realize that nothing will be gained from nuclear development or provocations save for greater isolation and hardship."
“When North Korea abandons its nuclear ambitions and ceases its provocations, it will be able to become a responsible member of the international community. Only then will the path toward shared development by South and North be opened to us and only then will the trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula begin in earnest,” she added.
“Over the years, the Republic of Korea has made a constant effort for peace and reconciliation on the Peninsula. Such efforts have continued despite repeated military provocations by the North, including that which triggered the Korean War,” she went on, before adding, “While provocations 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.”