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POLITICS

ROK president voices misgiving with China in its dealing with North Korea

(Mainichi: January 14, 2016 – p. 8)

 

 By Koichi Yonemura in Seoul

 

 ROK President Park Geun-hye addressed the South Korean people on Jan. 13 in light of North Korea’s latest nuclear test. She also held a news conference after the speech where she showed frustration at the difficult situation her administration is in.

 

 In her speech, she said that “both the economy and security are in crisis.” This is because China is not cooperating in responding to the nuclear test, while her people have not given enough support to the labor market reforms she is implementing in the country.

 

 Park stated in her address: “China has openly declared on many occasions that it will not tolerate North Korea’s possession of nuclear arms. It knows very well that if such intent does not come with the necessary substantial measures, it will not be possible to prevent a fifth or sixth nuclear test (by North Korea).” She thus voiced her misgiving with China.

 

 This is in reaction to China’s failure to show support for the Park administration’s efforts to demand a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution mandating new sanctions on North Korea at a level that will force it to change its attitude.

 

 Park has worked very hard to play up a “honeymoon” between China and the ROK. However, there are now criticisms even in the ROK that such a relationship has not been effective in dealing with the crisis after the nuclear test.

 

 Park said in her speech: “Holding someone’s hand in a difficult situation is the mark of a best partner. I trust that China will play a necessary role as a permanent UNSC member.” (Abridged)

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