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Pres. Park wishes to meet N. Korean leader if necessary

Updated January. 15, 2014 05:32

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As for the possibility of North Korea’s provocation against South Korea, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that “the situation has become so unpredictable that (the government) will put top priority on strengthening our security posture and protecting the people,” adding that the government will “sternly respond to (North Korea’s) provocation and this cannot be clearer.”

Park made the remarks during an interview in a reception room of the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae on Monday with CNN. “North Korea is an unpredictable nation and it is true that instability (within the regime) has risen (since the execution of Jang Song Thaek).”

Asked if she sees the ruling of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is firm or weak, given the execution of Jang Song Thaek, the president answered that “both are plausible. The purging of Jang Song Thaek may increase (Kim Jong Un’s) ruling power, but that may be only temporary and eventually weaken (his power).”

Regarding the possibility of having an inter-Korean summit with Kim, she emphasized that there would be no need to talk the talk and she will “meet (with the North Korean leader) if the need arises for some substantial progress in inter-Korean relations or the promotion of peace.” This can be interpreted that the summit will be pushed forward only when North Korea expresses its sincerity about the improvement of inter-Korean relations, rather than in relation to internal political situations.

Since the New Year press conference on Monday last week, President Park has had a series of interviews with foreign media, including Bloomberg, CNN and Indian public broadcaster DD1TV. Experts say that the president is staging an “interview diplomacy battle” to advertise North Korean and Japanese issues and bring about international cooperation. The president will depart on Wednesday to make a state visit to India and Switzerland and return on next Thursday.