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(2nd LD) Park vows to push for effective measures against N. Korea

All News 16:14 January 21, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with more comments by Park)

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Thursday that South Korea will push for effective possible means to make North Korea pay a price for its nuclear test earlier this month.

She did not elaborate on what she meant by effective possible means. South Korea has resumed anti-Pyongyang broadcasts as part of its punishment against North Korea for its nuclear test.

The latest comments were made at a defense meeting with officials and came as the U.N. Security Council is working on a new resolution to punish North Korea for its fourth nuclear test.

Sanctions have been in place on North Korea for its three previous nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

She also said there could be growing uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea could stage provocations.

Last week, a North Korean drone briefly crossed the border before returning home after the South Korean military fired warning shots.

She also called for an overhaul of security systems to brace for a possible act of biological or chemical terrorism or a cyberattack.

North Korea is believed to have about 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons in stock and to be capable of cultivating various types of biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox on its own and processing them into biological weapons.

North Korea is also believed to have sent massive spam emails to South Korean public organizations in what could be the North's latest hacking attempt.

South Korean police said the spam emails were traced to an Internet network in northeast China that Seoul said was behind a cyberattack on South Korea's nuclear power operator in 2014.

North Korea -- which has thousands of cyberwarfare personnel -- has a track record of waging cyberattacks on South Korea and the United States in recent years, though it has flatly denied any involvement.

Park said she is concerned about the parliament's failure to pass an anti-terrorism bill, saying South Koreans are exposed to terrorist attacks.

She also said South Korea should make thorough preparations for possible terror attacks on major state facilities or public places used by many people.

On Wednesday, South Korea's intelligence agency said South Korea has deported a total of 51 foreigners believed to be affiliated with international terrorist groups including the Islamic State in recent years.

The anti-terrorism bill has gained new momentum following the deadly attacks in Paris last year, though no major progress has since been made.


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