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Park will not tolerate N. Korea's nuclear weapons program: envoy

All Headlines 09:58 January 25, 2013

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye will not tolerate North Korea's nuclear weapons program and will respond firmly to any additional provocations from the communist country, a special envoy said Thursday (local time).

Rep. Rhee In-je, Park's special envoy to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, made the remarks in a briefing to the foreign press while outlining the incoming president's policies on North Korea.

The remarks came amid renewed tensions on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's pledge to abandon all denuclearization efforts on the peninsula in response to expanded U.N. sanctions for its Dec. 12 launch of a long-range rocket that violated existing U.N. resolutions. On Wednesday, the country also hinted at the possibility of conducting its third nuclear test.

"President-elect Park has proposed a 'Korean Peninsula trust process' as a real solution to the North Korea issue," Rhee said. "If there is trust, the two Koreas can do a lot together, and if the trust accumulates, that could provide the key to solving the North Korean nuclear issue."

The envoy, a six-term lawmaker of Park's ruling Saenuri Party and a co-chief of her presidential campaign last year, added that the president-elect is open to dialogue with the North and will provide food and medical aid to the North Korean people.

"(We) hope North Korea chooses to take the right path through inter-Korean dialogue and trust," Rhee said. "Our efforts are not enough on their own. The international community should join forces to lead North Korea to choose change and become a responsible member of the international community."

The envoy also spoke about the incoming government's economic policies, saying Park's key aim is to attain sustainable economic growth through innovations in science and technology.

Park's government reorganization plan includes the creation of a "ministry of future creation and science" to handle relevant policies and projects.

Rhee also outlined Park's commitment to rebuilding the middle class, creating jobs and fulfilling South Korea's role and responsibilities as a middle power in the world.

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