South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged the international community to find a solution to North Korea's nuclear arsenal during her address Monday at the United Nations General Assembly. The leader of the Republic of Korea suggested a deal along the same lines as the nuclear agreement negotiated with Iran this summer.
“Resolving the North Korean nuclear issue should be accorded the highest priority if we are to uphold the integrity of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and live up to the aspirations of humanity for a world without nuclear weapons,” Park said. “Last July, the Iran nuclear deal was reached. Now the international community should focus its efforts on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue -- the last remaining nonproliferation challenge.”
The Korean peninsula has experienced serious turmoil over the past few months after Pyongyang allegedly placed land mines inside South Korea's part of Demilitarized Zone. Seoul retaliated by blasting propaganda through speakers placed on the border with its northern neighbor. The incident led to threats that North Korea would attack.
North Korea, also known as Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, has shouldered sanctions against it in one form or another since December 1950. On Sunday, North Korea’s foreign minister said that the U.S. was trying to “suffocate” it with sanctions, according to an Associated Press report.
The sanctions Washington imposed are in retaliation against Pyongyang’s refusal to end its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. measures are a result of America's "inveterate animosity and hostile policy" aimed at toppling the communist system, Ri Su Yong, the foreign minister, said.
Park offered to help North Korea, provided it chooses the path of “reform and opening rather than additional provocations,” she said during her speech.
“Should the DPRK boldly give up its nuclear ambitions and choose the path towards openness and cooperation, the Republic of Korea will work with the international community to actively support North Korea in developing its economy and improving the quality of life of its people,” Park said.