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Park: N. Korea's abandonment of nuclear program key to unification

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Published : 2014-03-03 10:15
Updated : 2014-03-03 10:16

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the sooner North Korea gives up its nuclear program, the earlier unification with the communist nation will come.

In an address at an international leadership conference, Park also said the South should make thorough preparations to become one nation with the North because a chance for unification could come abruptly. That's why she decided to set up a presidential preparatory committee for unification, she said.

"The road to unification will be shortened if North Korea's nuclear abandonment comes early," Park said. "If North Korea puts its nuclear program down and fills in that place with the trust of the international community and moves inter-Korean relations forward, we will be able to open an era of unification."

In recent months, Park has made strong pitches for unification. She said it would be a "bonanza" for the two Koreas as well as a blessing for neighboring countries because there will be huge demands for infrastructure projects in the impoverished North.

Park also pledged to create a presidential committee to prepare for unification.

"I saw in the press that former Prime Minister of East Germany Lothar de Maiziere, who is here today, offered advice to South Korea that in order not to miss a chance for unification, it should be prepared to receive a present that comes in a moment of time," Park said.

"I think what made German unification possible was uninterrupted preparations and bold decisions by leaders," she said. "If we are not going to miss a historic opportunity for unification when it comes to the Korean Peninsula, we should calmly make preparations starting now." (Yonhap)

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