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Park renews calls for national unity amid N.K. threats

All Headlines 11:17 October 01, 2016

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Saturday renewed her calls for national unity to counter North Korea's escalating military threats, stressing internal division is "more dreadful" than Pyongyang's nuclear provocations.

During her speech to mark the country's Armed Forces Day, the commander-in-chief underscored that it is the communist regime's "miscalculation" to seek internal stability and cohesion by showing off its nuclear and missile capabilities and escalating military tensions.

"The North Korean regime is now testing our will, and seeking to disrupt our society by (sowing) internal division," Park said during the speech at the Gyeryongdae military headquarters in South Chungcheong Province, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul.

"At this point, (the act of) aggravating division and confusion in our midst is more dreadful than nuclear provocations that North Korea wants," she added, calling for "unity beyond ideological and political differences."

The president also pointed out that as the North seeks to advance its nuclear weapons capabilities, it will not renounce its nuke tests and missile provocations, and that the security situation at present is "critical."

To counter the evolving threats, Park stressed the need to further strengthen "effective measures" based on Washington's extended deterrence, and to beef up South Korea's own military capabilities, its Kill Chain preemptive strike system and Korea Air and Missile Defense system.

Extended deterrence refers to the U.S. stated commitment to defend its allies by mobilizing all military capabilities, nuclear and conventional, against aggression and provocations.

The president, in addition, defended the decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system to the Korean Peninsula by end-2017, calling the decision a "minimal self-defense" measure.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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