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Pres. Lee: 6-way talks must end NK nuke program

Posted December. 30, 2010 11:21,   


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday that the six-way nuclear talks next year must end North Korea`s nuclear program via diplomacy.

At a briefing on next year’s plan by the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry at the presidential office, he said, “North Korea’s nuclear program will be resolved only through the six-party talks,” adding, “Since North Korea aims to build a strong nation by 2012, its denuclearization must be achieved through the six-party talks next year.”

“The six-party talks will be used but South Korea should also play an important role in renouncing nuclear weapons through inter-Korean talks.”

Mentioning the North’s sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan and artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, however, President Lee said, “Peace on the Korean Peninsula will not be achieved through diplomacy,” adding, “Strong defensive capability and a public sense of security are prerequisites.”

At a Nov. 28 meeting with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo shortly after the Yeonpyeong shelling, President Lee said, “This is not the time to mention the six-party talks,” and told the South Korean people the next day, “I’ve come to learn that it’s difficult to expect North Korea to give up military adventurism and nuclear weapons by itself.”

He also urged strong military countermeasures against Pyongyang’s provocations, saying, “If we are afraid of war, we cannot prevent it.”

Speculation is accordingly rising that Seoul will change its sanctions-oriented policy toward Pyongyang to one combining dialogue next year, as President Lee’s comments imply the resumption of the six-party dialogue and inter-Korean talks.

In a briefing on next year’s plan by the Unification Ministry, he said, “Considering the Yeonpyeong and Cheonan incidents, I thought reunification is not far away. Next year should be the year that we inspire the people with the perception that reunification is not far away and has many positive aspects.”

“While strengthening our defensive capabilities and pursuing strong national security, we need to exert efforts to bring peace through inter-Korean talks.”

“Our goal is reunification and we should make efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, which is a prerequisite for reunification,” he said, adding, “The Unification Ministry should prepare for reunification. Preparation that is joined by all the people is needed.”

“Peaceful reunification is the most desirable. Even if it takes time, we must reunify the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” President Lee said. “The way of reunification in which one is absorbed by the other deserves no discussion.”

He also advised the North to adopt the Chinese model of reform. “The most desirable change in the North is the change that occurred in China,” he said. “The North cannot help but choose the Chinese way.”