President of South Korea Park Geun Hye declared on the 6th that, “A nuclear North Korea is an obstacle to unification and world peace, and can never be allowed.”
At the year’s first press conference at the Blue House, Park added, “We must prepare for an era of unification. The primary barrier to this is North Korea’s nuclear program.”
“If North Korea intends to abandon its nuclear program and become a responsible member of the international community, we will provide active support,” it was asserted.
Park “welcomed” Kim Jong Eun’s recent overtures in regard to improved inter-Korean relations, but cautioned that, “What is important is not words, but action and sincerity…North Korea spoke of improving inter-Korean relations in its New Year’s message last year as well, but all of you must be well aware of what it actually did.”
When questioned over the likelihood of a joint summit with the North, Park replied, “A meeting with the leader of North Korea may occur at anytime if it were required to prepare for unification and a peaceful peninsula.”
The possibility of potential unrest in North Korea following the execution of Jang Song Taek was also addressed; “Rather than making premature predictions, we will prepare for all possibilities.”
Finally, Park expressed her hope that “members of separated families will be allowed to reunite around Lunar New Year to help heal the wounds in their hearts,” adding that this gesture could serve as the first step toward improved inter-Korean relations.