Park Geun-hye.(Photo by Tak Gi-hyeong)
Park Geun-hye and Han Myeong-sook both make remarks pledging cooperation with Pyongyang
By Kim Jong-cheol, Senior Staff Writer
Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she and the New Frontier Party were prepared to support and cooperate with efforts to bring about change in North Korea.
The chairwoman of the NFP‘s emergency measures committee said the party would take an “open approach” to allow “a swift recovery of inter-Korean relations, where distrust has deepened due to the attacks on the Cheonan warship and Yeonpyeong Island. We hope to move onto a path of sustainable peace and shared development.”
Park’s remarks came in a keynote speech Tuesday at an international conference ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit at the 63 Building in Seoul‘s Yeouido district. She also said South Korea’s North Korea policy “needs to evolve in a forward-thinking way while maintaining consistency based on the support of the South Korean people.”
In particular, Park said that South Korea “needs to begin a long march of changing its vicious cycle of distrust with surrounding nations like the US and China into a virtuous cycle of trust, and to seek out the role of ‘guide’ for promoting change in North Korea.”
She went on to propose a “Korean Peninsula trust process” aimed at achieving this.
Park said the process “should start with both parties keeping their promises.”
“The existing promises between North and South Korea and between North Korea and the international community should be fundamentally respected,” Park said.
Park went on to say, “The basic spirit underlying the July 4 Joint Declaration, the North-South Basic Agreement, and the June 15 and October 4 Declarations is one of each side the recognizing the other and creating peace together.” “The New Frontier Party and myself are making it clear that North and South Korea need to steadfastly maintain a spirit of mutual respect and recognition,” she added. Park‘s remarks Tuesday seem to indicate a distinction from the Lee Myung-bak administration, by suggesting inter-Korean relations collapsed because of that administration’s failure to follow the terms of the June 15 and October 4 Declarations as demanded by Pyongyang. Park also said that military provocations would “not be tolerated under any circumstances.” She added, “Humanitarian issues and mutual exchange efforts should be continued even if the political situation changes.” Democratic Unity Party chairwoman Han Myeong-sook also gave a keynote speech at the conference Tuesday. In it, she commented on the need to expand and deepen inter-Korean cooperation to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea. “We need to have dialogue with the new North Korean leader,” Han said. Han also said the Lee administration “failed with its North Korea policy of simply waiting for North Korea to change.” “The Democratic Unity Party plans to pursue the normalization of inter-Korean relations and to lead the withdrawal of the May 24 sanctions against North Korea, which are getting in the way of inter-Korean relations,” she added. Please direct questions or comments to [email@example.com]