Divided peninsula ‘last remaining vestige of Cold War,’ Republic of Korea President tells UN

28 September 2015

In her address to the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea (ROK) cited the Iranian nuclear deal as she urged the international community to focus on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

President Park called for the resolution to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear issue to be accorded “the highest priority” towards creating a world without nuclear weapons. She emphasized that provocation would not only “harm the hard-won mood for inter-Korean dialogue,” but also “undermine the efforts of the members of the six-party talks to reopen denuclearization talks.”

“Pushing ahead with provocations, including its nuclear development programme, will undermine the values of humanity’s peace espoused by the international community and the UN,” she said.

Dubbing it “the last remaining non-proliferation challenge,” Ms. Park said “The DPRK would do well to choose reform and opening rather than additional provocations and to endeavour to free its people from hardship.”

Ms. Park recalled that Republic of Korea “is a country that experienced a devastating war and remains scarred to this day by partition,” while underscoring her country’s acute aware of the importance of peace and its strong support of UN efforts to protect it.

She called attention to Germany’s 25th anniversary of reunification, asserting that “ending the seven-decade-on history of a divided Korean Peninsula – the last remaining vestige of the Cold War – will mark nothing less than a contribution to world peace.”

Referring to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s claim that Northeast Asia lacked a regional cooperation mechanism, Ms. Park spoke of “the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative to create a virtuous cycle of trust-building and increased cooperation.” She elaborated that consultations among regional countries were already underway on a range of collaborative areas, including nuclear security, disaster management and health.”

With regard to climate change, Ms. Park noted that as Republic of Korea has achieved rapid industrialization, it also supports the co-existence of man and nature, saying “Korea… is actively seeking to transition towards a low-carbon economy, while actively participating in climate negotiations.”

 

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