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(LEAD) Park warns of pressure on N. Korea unless it shows commitment to denuclearization

All News 11:16 March 01, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with details; ADDS context)

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye vowed Tuesday to put pressure on North Korea unless Pyongyang abandons its nuclear program and ends its provocative behavior.

"We and the international community will continue to put pressure on North Korea unless the North shows its commitment to denuclearization... though our government will not shut the door for dialogue," Park said in a televised speech marking the 97th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement.

The Independence Movement on March 1, 1919 paved the way for Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule, which lasted from 1910-45.

Park said South Korea and the international community should make North Korea recognize that its nuclear weapons cannot "maintain its regime" and are "meaningless."

The North has repeatedly pledged to boost its nuclear capability, viewing its nuclear program as a powerful deterrent against what it claims is Washington's hostile policy towards it.

Park said a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea represents the stern will of the international community to make North Korea pay the price for its recent provocations.

Her comments came as the council faces a last-minute hurdle in adopting a resolution meant to punish North Korea for conducting a fourth nuclear test and launching long-range missile.

Russia has yet to give its consent to the draft resolution on the grounds that it needs time to review the proposed resolution. Russia is one of the five permanent veto-wielding members of the council.


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