NEW DELHI (Yonhap News) ― President Park Geun-hye called for an “airtight” security posture against North Korea from South Korean soldiers and other officials on Saturday, viewing the North’s recent charm offensives as a possible prelude to imminent military provocations.
“In India, Park ordered the (South Korean) defense minister and other security-related ministers to make more efforts to keep an airtight security posture against (potential) provocations at a time North Korea is conducting a flurry of propaganda offensives,” Park’s chief press secretary Lee Jung-hyun told reporters in New Delhi, India.
Park was in the Indian city to hold a summit meeting with her counterpart there.
The security instruction came two days after the North made a surprise proposal to the South for the two sides to halt their usual verbal attacks and work together to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
As part of the recent string of charm offensives, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has also vowed to mend ties with Seoul in his New Year’s address, citing the task as one of his top policy priorities.
However, Seoul effectively snubbed the proposal a day earlier, saying that it is North Korea that has frequently verbally attacked South Korea, not the other way around.
Lee said that North has shown a pattern of issuing pronouncements for peace followed by military provocations, indicating that the latest proposal may be part of the same pattern.
North Korea should take on a “sincere attitude” toward denuclearization if it truly wants reconciliation and peace with South Korea, the press secretary said.
Continuing propaganda offensives while not responding to Seoul’s call to hold reunions of families separated in the 1950-53 Korean War is “a highly dangerous act,” he said.
Despite Seoul’s rejection of the Thursday proposal, the North said earlier in the day that the country will first take steps to fulfill its suggestion, calling on Seoul to follow suit.