Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - South Korea President-elect Park Geun-hye strongly warned against additional provocations by North Korea such as a nuclear test, calling Pyongyang's nuclear ambition a "path toward collapse."
"None of the third, fourth or fifth nuclear tests by North Korea will elevate its negotiating power," Park said during the presidential transition committee's debate arranged by the sub-panel on foreign affairs, unification and defense. The meeting was held a day after the North conducted the third, more powerful nuclear test.
"The North may, in the future, demand a disarmament negotiation instead of a denuclearization negotiation by claiming itself to be a nuclear state, but that will be a misjudgment," Park said.
Underscoring that more nuclear tests would lead the North to a path of collapse through deeper isolation from the international community, Park affirmed her determination to fortify the South's "comprehensive defense capability that fits the changing strategic environment."
Park also expressed commitment to her "trustpolitik" platform.
"I believe there are many who believe the trust-building process should be revised (upon the nuclear crisis). But the process is fundamentally based on strong deterrence and it is not an appeasement policy."
Park stated that while the policy would remain the same, it could be changed if the North resorted to further provocation.
"The important philosophy of the trustpolitik is to create trust that a provocation will be met with a corresponding price, and that a willingness to become a responsible member of the international society will be followed by definite opportunities and support."
Trustpolitik pushed by Park defines a step-by-step approach to North Korea in parallel with a denuclearization that remains constant through political transitions and unexpected domestic or international events, moving from humanitarian aid to low-level economic cooperation to longer-term projects involving large-scale infrastructure investment.
Park also urged the participants to seek measures to build trust with neighboring countries by taking the example of the Helsinki process of Europe - trust-building and economic cooperation in parallel by extending bilateral relations with major nations to trilateral and multilateral cooperation.