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Park, Xi reaffirm opposition to N.K. nukes

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Published : 2014-03-24 07:03
Updated : 2014-03-24 11:51

 
President Park Geun-hye shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in The Hague on Sunday. (Yonhap)

 


The leaders of South Korea and China on Sunday reaffirmed their opposition to North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, pledging to work closely together for peninsular denuclearization.

During their talks on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged views on how to strengthen their strategic cooperation to yield “substantive progress” on Pyongyang’s denuclearization, Cheong Wa Dae said.

“It is impossible for the North to simultaneously pursue nuclear development and economic reconstruction. While leaving open the door for dialogue, there should be substantive progress on Pyongyang’s denuclearization,” Park was quoted by her office as saying during the hour-long summit with Xi.

“Should there be an assurance that Pyongyang’s development of nuclear capabilities will be blocked, we can explore a variety of ways (to resume multilateral dialogue on the nuclear standoff).”

Xi reiterated Beijing’s opposition to the North’s nuclear program.

“We clearly oppose North Korea’s possession of nuclear capabilities and conscientiously implement the U.N. resolutions (against the North),” Xi said.

“There are differences between Beijing and Pyongyang over the nuclear issue, but we are now trying to persuade the North through the Chinese way (of persuasion). We will try to lead the North in the way the international community wants it to go.”

Park also used part of her talks with Xi to explain Seoul’s plan to establish a preparatory committee for reunification and its vision for a unified Korean Peninsula.

“A unified Korea will be nuclear-free, and become a symbol of peace. It would also offer a chance for all regional people to enjoy peace and prosperity by creating a new growth engine in Northeast Asia,” she said.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)

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