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(LEAD) Park urges ASEAN to show int'l resolve against N.K. nukes through 'words, actions'

All Headlines 19:22 September 07, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES with remarks, details from paras 2-6)
By Song Sang-ho

VIENTIANE, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye revved up her diplomacy Wednesday to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions, urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to oppose Pyongyang's saber-rattling through "unequivocal words and actions."

During the South Korea-ASEAN summit in the Laotian capital of Vientiane, Park highlighted that the communist state's evolving nuclear and missile programs pose a "great" threat to the peace of not only the Korean Peninsula but also the international community as a whole.

"Unequivocal words and actions by ASEAN member states that have maintained certain relations with North Korea will play a crucial role in making Pyongyang recognize the firm resolve of the international community (to oppose its provocative moves)," she said during the summit.

President Park Geun-hye speaks during the South Korea-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit in the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Sept. 7, 2016. (Yonhap)

"I call on you to offer your attention and support for the efforts by the international community to denuclearize the North and induce it to change," she said.

Despite international warnings and entreaties, Pyongyang has continued to engage in provocative acts, including its launch of three mid-range ballistic missiles Monday and a test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile last month.

For its latest missile provocations, the U.N. Security Council adopted a press statement that strongly condemned the missile launches and called them a "grave violation" of related U.N. resolutions.

During her opening remarks, Park called on ASEAN to further solidify robust ties with South Korea through a concrete vision for bilateral cooperation.

The chief executive also pointed out that the two-way partnership has deepened as both sides have worked together to tide over shared challenges.

"I hope that this summit today can serve as an opportunity to solidify our mutual will to cooperate by checking the progress made through bilateral cooperation and fleshing out our vision for the future," she said.

Park also traced the history of the two sides working together to overcome global challenges.

"In times of global crises, South Korea and ASEAN further deepened the level of cooperation and further developed their relationship," she pointed out.

"Right after Asia's financial crisis, the two sides held their first South Korea-ASEAN summit (in 1997). After the 2008 global financial crisis, the signing process of a bilateral free trade agreement was completed, and then, they forged a strategic partnership in 2010," she explained.

Touching on the increasingly complex nature of global challenges, Park called for multilateral cooperation.

"Crisis situations we face now are different from those of the past. They are global and happen simultaneously," she said. "Thus, responses through international cooperation are more important than anything else."

Park is currently in Laos, the third and last leg of her eight-day trip that also took her to Russia and China. She is to return home on Friday.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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