November 04, 2013 09:45
President Park Geun-hye has said she is open to a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if that helps improve inter-Korean relations and bring peace to the peninsula.
"We are ready to help North Korea," Park told French daily Le Figaro on Saturday. "My position is that I can hold a meeting at any time if it is necessary for development in the South-North relations or peace on the Korean Peninsula."
But she reiterated that there should be no talks for talks' sake, and that "what is most important is sincerity."
A Cheong Wa Dae official, providing the customary gloss on presidential remarks, said this was a "message urging the North once again to change."
Park said the North's attempt to rebuild its broken economy while concurrently pushing nuclear and missile development is an "impossible illusion."
The North Korean regime "is ignoring the hunger and livelihoods of its people" to cling to power. "If North Korea continues to act like this, I think it will face difficulties from both inside and outside, and collapse on its own."
Park arrived in Paris on the first leg of a European tour on Saturday afternoon and attended various cultural events. She meets her French counterpart François Hollande on Monday.
It is her first visit to Paris since 1974, when she went there to study. She said she "never imagined" she would one day return as the president of South Korea.
Park studied at the University of Grenoble in southeastern France in 1974 but had to return to Seoul six months later when her mother was shot dead by a North Korean assassin.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com