Independent S. Korea presidential candidate presses North to quit nuke

Bae Hyun-jung in Seoul/The Korea Herald
Asia News Network

Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - South Korean independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo yesterday urged North Korea to renounce its nuclear weapons project, to halt all military provocations, and to return to the negotiating table.

In a press conference with the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club, Ahn stressed that the nation's political and economic reforms may only be built upon the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

"If I become president, I shall first of all promote peace on the Korea Peninsula," said Ahn.

"For the past five years, the two Koreas not only failed to hold ministerial talks but also faced various military conflicts such as the Cheonan sinking and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling."

"North Korea's nuclear weapon may not be accepted under any circumstances, as it threatens the peace and stability of the entire Northeast Asia," Ahn said.

The entrepreneur-turned-politician also pledged to activate communication and cooperation between the two Koreas.

"I will actively invite the North to resume the suspended talks, but a summit with leader Kim Jung [-un] must not become the ultimate goal," he said.

"A summit-level meeting should only take place after sufficient communication has been made [between the two Koreas]."

In terms of foreign policies, Ahn underlined the importance of the alliances each with the United States, China and Japan.

"I shall develop the Korea-US alliance into a modern, comprehensive tie," he said.

"On that basis, I will then make efforts to build a strategic cooperative partnership with China and to restore the three-way talk with Japan."